As part of ecological planning, the Minister of Ecological Transition Christophe Béchu went to the Assises des Déchets in Nantes this Wednesday, September 27. He announced that there would ultimately be no general deposit for plastic bottles for recycling. He prefers instead the mobilization of several levers identified by Ademe.
Christophe Béchu was eagerly awaited at the Assises des Déchets in Nantes this Wednesday, September 27. Professionals from the sector – businesses, communities, associations, etc. – gathered at the Cité des Congrès for two days of debate. At the conclusion of the first day, the Minister of Ecological Transition estimated that “the immediate or generalized implementation of recycling deposits does not meet with the full support that we need today”.
There will therefore be no “generalized instructions as of January 1st”, he assured. However, he invites us to continue studies on deposits, “in particular on its potential regionalization”. “If we were late […]the question of its implementation would necessarily arise again”he warns.
Following this announcement, Intermunicipalities of Francea federation of nearly 1,000 intercommunal communities representing 80% of the French population, welcomes “the abandonment of the false deposit project on plastic bottles” et “to have finally been heard”. On the other hand, an unprecedented coalition of 13 actors including the Tara Océan Foundation and the Tomra company denounces “ a missed appointment “. They “urge the French State to put in place a clear plan on the means and trajectory of selective collection levers to be activated from 2024”.
Several other levers to operate locally
However, the challenge still remains to respect the European objective of collecting 90% of plastic bottles by 2029. And this while the average recycling rate of these bottles today reaches 62% in France. Having been able to identify very strong disparities at the local level, with collection rates “which range from 40% for Île-de-France to 82% for Burgundy-Franche-Comté” and so « interco[munalités] at 90% and others at less than 30%”the minister announces “launch annual waste characterization campaigns from each intercommunity”.
This new systematic characterization will make it possible to have “comparable bases for municipal performance” and to establish a bonus-malus system. More generally, the minister says he prefers the activation of the eleven performance levers identified by Ademe to improve the collection of plastic bottles. These range from increasing the share of the incentive fee to extending the sorting deposit.
Possible to increase collection without deposit
If the minister recognizes that many European countries have implemented the deposit and that they often have high collection rates, this would not be the only solution to achieve this. To support his point, he takes the case of Belgium as an example. “which is 92% collection without deposit”.
Another bottle-related goal remains under the radar. While the Agec law provides for a 50% reduction in the number of single-use plastic beverage bottles in 2030 compared to 2018, public authorities and manufacturers remain fairly discreet on the subject. Christophe Béchu simply indicates that “we must reduce the tonnages of plastics” put on the market.
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