Poland has adopted the draft legislation for implementing the Deposit Return System by 2025 and is thus on the path to joining other 13 EU countries that have launched Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) so far. The aim is to increase collection and recycling rates of single-use beverage containers and reusable glass bottles (the municipal recycling rate was 40.3% in 2021). The Deposit Return Scheme is one of the most effective tools countries are adopting to meet the European goals for reducing the impact of plastic waste on the environment. However, the schedule for DRS implementation in Poland is tight, and Polish industry associations and non-governmental organizations have doubts about the feasibility of launching the system as originally scheduled in early 2025.
Deposit Return Schemes increase the purity of material collected, leading to plastic circularity and reduction of CO2 emissions. The first V4 country to adopt a Deposit Return System in 2022, Slovakia, has collected 1.3 billion single-use plastic bottles and cans (recent data from 30.6.2023) since the launch of DRS. This number represents 77% of plastic bottles being returned to the system. The goal of the country is to return 80% of plastic bottles by the end of 2023. The Deposit Return System in Slovakia processes on average 3,2 million returns per day, seasonally this number is near to 5 million returns per day. The DRS system, implemented in only 10 months by company Sensoneo, works as a backbone of the entire system as it integrates all stakeholders and gathers data from all sources within the process chain.
Martin Basila, CEO and Co-Founder of Sensoneo: “We would like to express our full support for Poland’s decision to join other EU countries and embark on this sustainable path. By adopting a Deposit Return System, every citizen in Poland will have the opportunity to actively participate in this system, contributing to the preservation of natural resources and the reduction of waste. The potential positive impact is substantial with a population of almost 38 million people. Launching the DRS in Poland by 2025 might be challenging, the DRS administrator faces numerous tasks, including IT, logistics, reporting, and financing. However, by utilizing our IT solution, they can rest assured that at least this aspect is effectively addressed and consider it solved. Our unique and ready-to-use IT system for DRS can be adapted to any specific needs of different countries and is agnostic with any return vending machine.” Martin Basila will join the October panel discussion at Circular Week 2023 in Warsaw to discuss the Deposit Return Scheme strategy in Poland.
Sensoneo draws on its extensive experience with Deposit Return Schemes and is currently the only DRS integrator that operates in five countries. According to Peter Knaz, the Head of Sensoneo’s DRS and Take-Back division: “We are happy another European country is on the path to implementing Deposit Return Scheme. I believe it is the right step for Poland to increase the recollection of clean material streams and decrease waste pollution. Our pre-DRS tool is perfectly set up for countries with a high number of entities participating in the system and wishing to launch the DRS in an accelerated time. It enables the use of collected data for data-driven capacity planning and implementing the most efficient and cost-effective DRS. Automated contracting saves time for both the operator and the entities and will accelerate the process by a few months, saving time and resources which would be needed for manual contract signing and data collection.”
Sensoneo DRS System praised during the Royal visit from the Netherlands
The unique software solution for the Deposit Return Scheme developed by Sensoneo makes the Slovak DRS scheme one of the most advanced deposit systems globally. That is why it was presented as an example of circular economy best practice to King William-Alexander of the Netherlands, Queen Máxima, and President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová during the Royal visit in Slovakia in March 2023.