Clarissa Morwaski  in Polish ParliamentGreen Business Norway recently organized a waste management seminar at the Sejm (the lower house of the Polish parliament) in Warsaw and Clarissa Morawski, the Managing Director of Reloop, had the chance to be invited as one of the keynote speakers of the meeting.

The seminar, organized in partnership with the parliamentary committee on the environment and natural resources, was a high-level forum bringing together many of Poland’s key decision makers in the sector: politicians and government officials, stakeholders (regional governments) and potential customers.

Morawski spoke about the circular economy and the global challenges associated with growing volumes of packaging waste. She cited examples of deposit schemes for beverage containers, which have helped the environment by facilitating high-quality recycling of large quantities. The Managing Director of Reloop provided a broad understanding of how these systems work; where they are currently in place; and how government can design a program that stimulates innovation, creates local jobs and supports domestic manufacturers.

“Countries around the world are struggling to keep up with rising consumption and related packaging waste and litter. In particular, single-use beverage containers—which come in a variety of sizes and material types—represent a growing part of the waste stream, and create problems in our natural land and marine environments.

Deposit return systems offer consumers a financial incentive to recycle. These programs continue to outperform all other beverage container recovery programs because they achieve high collection rates (75%-99%) and offer the highest quality feedstock to manufacturers that prefer recycled material over virgin material.

After decades of experience with deposit return programs, countries throughout the world offer examples of best practices in terms of setting up and operating deposit return programs for all beverage containers, including those used for alcohol, juice, soft drinks and water. These models showcase examples of cost effective; competitive; and convenient systems, which have gained the overwhelming support of consumers, beverage producers; the waste management industry and municipalities.

Deposit return has proven to save municipalities millions of dollars in avoided litter clean-up; garbage and recycling costs, thereby freeing up municipal funds to support additional efforts to divert other important household wastes, like organics, more recyclables, bulky and household hazardous waste”