Five large beverage companies merged to form the Backup Initiative. They have a common goal – to create a flat backup system for PET bottles and cans in the Czech Republic.
“The current waste sorting system is working fine, and recycling is less so. We need to go one step further, from sorting to real recycling so that the collected materials can be reused,” says Kristina Haveligerova, Director of External Relations at Backup Initiative. in a closed cycle.
He also adds that some sorted PET bottles are being recycled and reused, but large quantities still end up in landfills or incinerators. “Our goal is to achieve frequent recycling of packaging materials, whereby the PET bottle is made back into a PET bottle and again a can,” explains Havligerová.
Backup Initiative Members
The customer plays an important role in the entire backup system. He must pay a deposit in the store and then return the empty packaging to the store, where he will get the exact amount back. According to the initiative, such a system provides up to 90 percent of the return on PET bottles and cans. According to the initiative, money is very motivating and will force the customer to return the package.
“Reusing materials for the same purpose in a closed loop is the best way to reduce their environmental impact,” the initiative said. Thus the backup system can effectively reduce the amount of waste in nature, and some people may be motivated by some financial incentives to collect bottles and loose cans.
It doesn’t move from day to day
However, the path to the goal is long, according to Hafliger, it is a matter of several years. “It is imperative that the backup be in law,” says the director. Then, according to her, it will be necessary to choose an official, build a system and, last but not least, come up with education.
“Backup works in many of the countries in which we operate, and its positive impact is clear. The recovery of the materials we use to recreate beverage packaging has improved. The introduction of backup also makes sense in the Czech Republic,” says Dan Timotin, CEO of Coca-Cola HBC Czechia and Slovakia. And we want the local system to be among the best.
Currently, the progress system for PET bottles and cans is operating in ten European countries, and more than twenty other countries are considering or are about to introduce the system. Neighboring Slovakia will start supporting it from the beginning of 2022.
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Let’s learn from past mistakes
The idea of a backup system did not appear in the Czech Republic for the first time. Backing up PET bottles and cans, for example, has long been supported, for example, by the Zálohujme.cz initiative, co-founded by Matoni 1873. According to her, there are a number of expert studies that support the backup of PET bottles and cans as a means to achieve the goals of the European Union.
The Trade and Tourism Federation of the Czech Republic is ready to discuss the issue of the backup system. However, he points out that the proposed activities should not have a negative impact on clients.
“SOCR CR plans to negotiate with the authors of the initiative on subsidizing PET bottles and aluminum cans essentially how to set up the entire system so that it actually meets its goals. Please do not make mistakes from previous years – without retail participation, no backup system can function,” Says Tomáš Prouza, President of the Trade and Tourism Association of the Czech Republic and Vice-President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce.
A step in the wrong direction
The Czech Traditional Trade Association describes the mandatory backup of PET bottles as a step in the wrong direction. He points out, among other things, that new technologies will have to be purchased. In addition, she said, a new fleet of vehicles, mostly air transport, will begin to transit the Czech Republic.
“As part of the mandatory deposit, PET bottles must be collected intact and most stores will not have on-site bottle-handling technology. It completely ignores the fact that bottles selected in this way will end up in the same factory, where they end up now,” the Traditional Trade Union notes. czech. However, according to her, backing up can be a good idea for countries that haven’t learned to sort.
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