EU – The EC Environment Directorate, concerned about inconsistencies between national collection systems for metal beverage cans, has launched a voluntary consultation to evaluate how a Europe-wide deposit refund system might operate.
London-based consultancy Eunomia is leading the EU-funded research and is looking at environmental, economic and social issues, as well as the administrative burden involved in ensuring the smooth functioning of the internal market. Consultation began in July and will run until 18 October.
The study comes into response to suggestions that the lack of harmonisation between different countries’ can collection and recovery systems may be distorting the market. It is claimed that cross-border trade, especially parallel and private imports in border regions, is suffering disruption. This has allegedly caused environmental damage and resulted in loss of income for local authorities, businesses and consumers.
There have been previous calls to harmonise the refund system for metal beverage cans at EU level in order to maintain the internal market and protect the environment. In 2009 the European Parliament voted in favour of a pilot project to be implemented by the Commission in 2010. After some delay, the new study aims to scope the problem and assess the feasibility of possible solutions.
The consultation website can be accessed here.