PACKAGING RECYCLING AUSTRIA
Plastic carrier bags banned as of 2020 / ARA calls for a "Plastics Roadmap 2030" / "Plastics Summit" in Vienna
The Austrian government plans to ban the sale of non-biodegradable plastic carrier bags as of 2020. This new "Plastiksackerl" ban was a central topic at the round table discussion held on 8 January 2019 at the Austrian Federal Chancellery in Vienna.



The Austrian Retail Association (Vienna; www.handelsverband.at) and a large number of retail and supermarket chains such as Rewe, Lidl and Hofer welcome the government’s measures. However, a requirement voiced at the "Plastics Summit" was that internet traders ought to be included in the regulations on grounds of competition. "It would be incomprehensible if the ban only affected those securing added value and employment in Austria and did not cover those digital players who are swamping our country with an avalanche of plastics waste," said Rainer Will, manging director of the retail association. From an environmental perspective, Will recommends considering an exemption for heavy-duty plastic carrier bags that are proven to be reusable. A further decisive point is that the ban must apply across all the different sectors – "including for catering delivery services, bakeries, sausage stalls and pharmacies."

Areas in which no ecologically or economically sensible alternatives are available should not be affected by the regulation – these include packaging for fresh meat and fish as well as packaging in duty-free shops.

At the same time, Austria's compost and biogas association KBVÖ (Vienna; www.kompost-biogas.info) is calling for a ban on conventional, thin plastic bags for fruit and vegetables in the framework of the plastics summit. These lightweight produce bags should only be made available in biodegradable plastics throughout the country and should be marked as such.
ARA wants more investments and innovations
Austria's leading collection system for packaging Altstoff Recycling Austria (ARA, Vienna; www.ara.at) is calling for a rapid action plan from politics and industry for dealing with plastics and plastic packaging in the context of the intended ban. "We are delighted at the open and objective dialogue taking place between the federal government and the stakeholders on this key issue. However, this relates to less than 2% of all plastic packaging," says the ARA. This alone is insufficient if the high EU recycling targets for 2025 are to be attained, which would require Austria to step up its recycling from the current 100,000 t/y to 150,000 t/y, says ARA board member Christoph Scharff. Austria needs a "Plastics Roadmap 2030" in order to achieve these targets. According to Scharff, massive innovations and investments are called for over the next few years to boost the use of recycled material.

15.02.2019 Plasteurope.com [241726-0]
Published on 15.02.2019
Österreich: ARA fordert Roadmap für KunststoffrecyclingGerman version of this article...

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