BCMB Encouraged by New EU Rules Targeting Single-Use Plastics

The Beverage Container Management Board (BCMB) is pleased with and encouraged by a recent agreement reached in the European Union to reduce plastic products in the environment and to collect 90% of single-use plastic bottles with caps and lids by 2029.

The  directive defines a single-use plastic (SUP) product as “a product that is made wholly or partly from plastic and that is not conceived, designed or placed on the market to accomplish, within its life span, multiple trips or rotations by being returned to the producer for refill or re-used for the same purpose for which it was conceived.”

Deposit return systems or schemes (as they are known globally), like Alberta’s beverage container recycling system, are being acknowledged world-wide as the suggested method to recover and recycle manufactured products such as plastic containers.

Through the directives set in the Beverage Container Recycling Regulation, the BCMB, its stakeholders, and Albertans are achieving an 82.5% return rate on plastic beverage containers. This equates to over 665 million plastic containers being returned for recycling each year.

In a recent biennial public survey, 88% of Albertans reported returning beverage containers to a depot for a refund of the deposit in the last six months. Additionally, 82% reported that they are highly satisfied with the deposit return system and beverage container recycling in Alberta.    

The EU directive also requires Member States to establish Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes by 2021. Producers of SUP products including food containers, packets and wrappers, beverage containers, cups for beverages, tobacco products with filters, wet wipes, balloons, and lightweight plastic carrier bags will be expected to cover the costs of collecting waste consisting of those SUP products and its subsequent transport and treatment, including the costs of litter cleanup and awareness raising measures.

For more information on the new EU rules, please visit the European Commission website

For more information related to this News Release, please contact BCMB President, Jeff Linton, at jlinton@bcmb.ab.ca.

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BCMB Mandate - to regulate and enhance a leading beverage container system that protects Alberta’s environment.