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Will deposit scheme boost Austria’s recycling rates?

Austrian recyclers are happy that a new bill by Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler, calling for a nationwide deposit scheme for bottles and cans, has finally received the green light.

The idea was presented in late 2021 and was voted through parliament after years of fierce opposition from industry stakeholders. Now it has finally been given the green light, the scheme will be enforced by 2025, with a recycling reward to consumers of 30 cents per item.

The amendment of the Waste Management Act will be gradually rolled out in 2024 to incentivise companies to meet the deadline, Gewessler has announced. ‘In this way, we can ensure better recycling and that one bottle becomes a bottle again,’ she states. 

Another effort to boost sustainability is the government’s plan to increase the minimum proportion of recycled content in plastic bottles to 25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030 with a newly introduced subsidy of up to EUR 200 for consumers wanting to repair their electronic devices. The latter is part of a year-long campaign to cut e-waste for which EUR 60 million has been set aside until 2023. 

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