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Get ready to pay more on plastic bottled water in Romania

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The Romanian authorities recently approved a government decision that will increase your cost with plastic bottled water in Romania. The plan of the authorities is to implement a guarantee-return system (GRS) for unrecyclable primary packaging.

According to the law that is now waiting final approval from authorities, the GRS system implies that everyone will pay a guarantee of 50 bani (subdivision of Romanian Lei) for any unrecyclable packaging of beverage purchased. The guarantee amount will be later recovered, if the used packaging will be returned to any store in Romania.

The new system will be mandatory for all stores, from small shops to big supermarkets. The new rules will apply not only to plastic packaging, but also to all packaging made of glass or metal which can’t be reused. Therefore, the impact will be much broader, and will include all sorts of drinks or even food, such as beer, wine or any alcoholic beverages, juices, nectars, or any soft drinks.

Guarantee-return systems already in place in other EU countries

Similar GRS are already implemented in at least other 10 EU countries, with results reaching the collection and processing of about 90% of recyclable waste placed on the market.

It is expected that the implementation of a GRS in Romania will significantly contribute to achieving the ambitious recycling and collection targets, which Romania assumed through similar decisions and laws.

The quantities of packaging returned to stores will further be transported to regional centers, and will afterwards reach waste recycling companies. The entire in-store waste collection infrastructure will be organized by a single system operator, similar as in other EU states where such systems already operate.

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