Plastics in Austria

Industry platform "Verpackung mit Zukunft": Statement on the Austrian Climate Protection Minister's ''3 point plan''

| Global themes | Verpackung mit Zukunft | Vienna | Austria

With regard to the measures to reduce plastic waste presented by the Austrian Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler as a “3-point plan”, "Verpackung mit Zukunft" advocate fact-based decisions.

"The measures presented today by Climate Protection Minister Gewessler have negative effects on the climate - this is supported by all the data and facts that we have", said Axel Kühner, CEO of Greiner AG. BM Gewessler wants to introduce a reusable quota and thus relies on glass. However, life cycle assessments of packaging clearly show that reusable glass only has a lower impact on the climate when it is transported very short. If the bottles are transported more than 150 kilometers for washing and filling, reusable plastic solutions are more climate-friendly. Even PET non-returnable bottles with a high proportion of recycled materials can convince in terms of environmental impact - provided that the used bottles are properly disposed of and recycled. Kühner also makes it clear: “Used packaging has no place in the environment. We urgently need them in the material cycle in order to be able to manufacture new bottles from them."

Recycled PET reduces CO2 emissions enormously

Beverage bottles made of PET are very easy to recycle. The rPET produced by the recycling company PET Recycling Team Wöllersdorf (an ALPLA company) saves up to 90 percent of greenhouse gas emissions compared to new goods. According to the proposals of Federal Minister Gewessler, the proposed measures should reduce the future EU plastic tax for Austria. Günther Lehner, CEO ALPLA Group: “The EU plastic tax should be applied to waste that is not recycled. In Austria, however, packaging that is particularly easy to recycle is now to be replaced. "

Lehner rejects a tax for manufacturers of plastic packaging: “Why is only plastic packaging taxed? All packaging, regardless of the material, must be objectively assessed and optimized with regard to its environmental impact. In any case, recycled materials must be excluded in order to strengthen the circular economy. ”Overall, Lehner sees the risk that plastic will be replaced by other materials that have a greater impact on climate change.

On the subject of one-way deposit, Franz Sauseng, Managing Director of Interseroh GmbH, states: “Around 34,000 t or around 70% of all plastic one-way beverage bottles placed on the market are currently being recorded separately. The introduction of a deposit system for one-way beverage bottles can help to further increase the collection rate for plastic beverage packaging and thus collect additional quantities - around 10,000 tonnes - for the production of PET recyclate. As a recycling specialist, we advocate measures that increase the amount and quality of recycling streams. Here, too, it is important to carefully analyze the respective market before making far-reaching decisions that may then not achieve the expected results. "

In the Verpackung mit Zukunft platform, Austrian companies have joined forces along the entire value chain in order to enable a functioning recycling economy and to establish Austria as a pioneer for sustainable packaging solutions. The platform calls on politicians and the public to enter into a dialogue, because decisions and measures must be taken on the basis of facts.