Austria has announced a 25-cent deposit will be levied on plastic bottles and aluminium cans, according to the Climate Protection Ministry.
From 2025, consumers will be able to return the items to any seller of these products and get €0.25 back on the price they paid.
“Austria is getting a deposit system. This way, we protect our nature and ensure that plastic bottles and cans are recycled properly”, Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) said.
The basic introduction of a deposit scheme on plastic bottles and cans was already decided on when the Waste Management Act (AWG) was amended last year. Following the initial announcement the details – particularly the amount of the deposit – had to be worked out between manufacturers, retailers and the Ministry of the Environment.
In the end, a deposit of 25 cents on all plastic bottles from 100ml up to three litres and all aluminium cans was agreed upon. Anyone who buys a disposable bottle or can will pay the amount as a deposit.
The government explained that this money is paid back when the container is returned. Importantly the containers can be returned anywhere that sells them, so consumers don’t have to take them back to the exact shop where they bought them.
“You can return items anywhere you can shop. This is a good and practical system that everyone involved can easily implement”, Gewessler said.
“In this way, we ensure that the beverage containers do not end up in nature. And they can be recycled in the best possible way afterwards because they are collected by type”, according to the ministry.
Milk products and mixed milk drinks are excluded for hygienic reasons.
In principle, the deposit can be returned at any shop that offers related products. However, there are exceptions for small shops, which only need to take back the sizes they actually sell. For example, if a small traffic shop only sells cans, they do not need to take back large bottles.