The conference is timely and is a response to the new EU Single-Use Plastic Directive (SUPD), which, among other things, requires Member States to achieve a 77% by 2025 and 90% by 2029 collection for recycling target of single-use plastic beverage bottles, and identifies DRS as a tool to achieve this.
The aim of the conference, hosted in Brussels by the European Committee of the Regions, was to bring together governments, DRS operators, experts, producers and technology providers from countries across Europe to offer their expertise on the various components of best in class DRS systems. The conference was targeted towards four primary audiences including:
- national and EU policy-makers faced with drafting DRS legislation, to learn about requisite legislative components like program scope, targets and penalties, container marking, etc.;
- local and regional authorities to learn about transitional issues related to DRS and opportunities to save on waste management costs;
- beverage producers and distributors to better understand the implications of EPR and the opportunities to use DRS to increase recycled content; and
- retailers, to learn from existing retail operations on how DRS can generate benefits like increased food traffic and improved brand image.