site.btaLidl, Kaufland Issue Eco-Vouchers for Returned Cans, PET Bottles
Sofia launched a pilot project for a deposit system for the collection of cans and plastic bottles of up to 3 litres through machines on Tuesday. The machines will be located on the premises of Lidl and Kaufland supermarket chains, with customers receiving BGN 0.05 per container.
Caretaker Deputy Minister of Environment and Water Reneta Koleva, who presented the project, said that the Ministry will select a contractor to integrate a national deposit system in the country by the end of the week. The results will be reported by mid-May, after which the system will be put up for public discussion.
German Ambassador here Irene Plank pointed out that the introduction of a deposit system for the return and recycling of this type of bottles is a step towards a more efficient and green economy in Bulgaria, which would help the country catch up with the other EU Member States.
A European directive requires Bulgaria to reach a 77% collection rate of cans and plastic bottles by 2025. If it fails to do so, it faces sanctions. By 2029, the amount should reach 90%. By 2030, 30% of new bottles are expected to contain recycled plastic.
Lidl Bulgaria CEO Milena Dragiyska said that this project is important for an even cleaner environment. She added that it can contribute to the implementation of a circular economy. Lidl launched the project in 10 stores across nine cities.
Kaufland Bulgaria CEO Ivan Chernev pointed out that installing the machines to collect packaging is yet another significant step to reducing the environmental impact. He added: "Each bottle returned to us will enter the recycling cycle, and a new recyclable product will be produced from it".
According to Dragiyska, the deposit of BGN 0.05 can be changed after observing the customers' and the businesses' reactions.
When a customer returns packaging, they will be issued a voucher, whose value can be deducted from their receipt at the respective store within 90 days. The receipt must be worth at least BGN 10. The voucher cannot be used if the customer purchased only tobacco products.
The machines will not accept crumpled or dirty packages of milk, dairy products, sunflower or olive oil, and vinegar.