Kaufland and Lidl will launch a PET bottle take-back test project in February

Kaufland and Lidl will launch a PET bottle take-back test project in February

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PET bottles – illustrative photo.

Prague – On February 23, the shopping chains Kaufland and Lidl will launch a test project for the return of beverage PET bottles and cans. Each chain will allow customers to return packaging in three of its stores. Spokespersons of both companies, which belong to the Schwarz business group, informed about this in a press release. In the Czech Republic, the backup of PET bottles and cans is not yet considered. However, the Ministry of the Environment is preparing a legislative proposal for possible introduction. Customers who use the service will receive discount coupons for purchases in stores.

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Lidl spokesman Tomáš Myler stated that the pilot project in stores is intended to support the idea of ​​introducing back-up of PET bottles and cans in the Czech Republic. “Given the fact that, in the event of the introduction of the system, customers will primarily return beverage packaging to merchants, it is important for us that the settings of the entire system are as customer-friendly as possible,” he added. The chains have not yet announced in which stores people will be able to try returning bottles.

According to the director of the environmental protection section of the Ministry of the Environment, David Suré, the test chain project can verify whether people in the Czech Republic are willing to improve the collection of cans and PET bottles.

The implementation of the system has long been supported by the Backup Initiative. It brings together the companies Coca-Cola HBC ČR and SK, Kofola, Mattoni 1873, Heineken ČR and Plzeňský Prazdroj, which are among the largest beverage producers in the Czech Republic. “Similar pilot projects were implemented by chains in other backup countries and they always brought useful experience that helped to set the system well so that it was comfortable for consumers,” said Kristýna Havlingerová on behalf of the initiative.

Last year's Ipsos survey showed , that the introduction of deposits on PET bottles is supported by 74 percent of Czechs, while 70 percent of people are in favor of deposits on cans. According to the survey, people consider the ideal deposit amount to be four crowns for bottles and cans. Three-quarters of people surveyed said they would consider shops to be the ideal place to return bottles.

The Trade and Tourism Association recently published the results of an analysis by the Center for Economic and Market Analysis (CETA) which quantified the costs of implementing a back-up system to approximately 5.2 billion crowns. Another 1.3 billion crowns per year will cost the operation of the system. The analysis calculates that 2.3 billion packages could enter the system annually, which corresponds to a ninety percent takeback rate.

CETA analyst Michael Fanta said that the main burden of building and operating the system will be borne by the back-up of packages shops. The biggest costs for them will be construction modifications due to the possible placement of packaging collection machines.

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