DRS fundamental to Greece reaching recycling targets

Eunomia Research and Consulting and the Association of the Greek Manufacturers of Packaging and Materials (AGMPM) are calling for the Greek Government to implement a deposit return system (DRS) in the country.

On the back of a webinar that took place on 20 May, during which Eunomia and AGMPM discussed what a DRS would look like in Greece, a number of suggestions were made for its implementation.

Glass bottlesThese included recommending the DRS is a non-profit system, owned and managed by obligated industries; there is clear and concise legislation for minimum return rates, minimum deposit fee level and stakeholder obligations; there are transparent rules for the DRS fees; and that measures on sales, returns and collection are controlled.

Furthermore, panellists recommended that the deposit is high enough to incentivise customers to return, but low enough to discourage fraud.

Dimitris Mandis, Chairman of AGMPM, said: “We believe that the most critical phase for the implementation of a DRS is the designing phase.

“The Ministry of Environment should call not only the stakeholders but also top experts around Europe in order not only to select the proper tools for the Greek region but also to fine tune all the critical parameters, since our target is a well-operating system protecting the local market and prohibiting any fraudulent activities.”

Head of the Eunomia Athens office Hara Xirou added: “It is essential to design a sustainable DRS in Greece on all single-use beverage containers that draws from successful EU practices and requires those deposit systems to be inclusive by material and size, centred on return to retail, and as accessible as possible to the public.”

The DRS would help align Greece’s recycling targets with those of the EU – which the EU’s Single Use Plastic (SUP) Directive has outlined as a 90 per cent recycling target for single-use containers by 2029.
The EU’s Packaging Weight Directive mandates that 55 per cent of plastic packaging (by weight) is collected by 2030.

With a public consultation on new legislation on Greece’s fulfilment of the requirements of the Directives set to launch next week, the DRS has been identified as a key element of the country reaching its waste targets.