Eunomia was commissioned by TOMRA to present recommendations on the optimal design of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme for Poland.

By 2035, all EU Member States will be expected to achieve a recycling rate of 65%, while the Single Use Plastics Directive has set a recycling rate target of 90% for plastic beverage bottles to be achieved by 2029.

A well-functioning EPR scheme will be required for Poland to build on its existing recycling infrastructure and meet the EU targets. Poland’s current EPR scheme sees producers fund around 5% of the costs of dealing with packaging waste, with 15 competing Producer Responsibility Organisations posing challenges for collecting reliable data, auditing and planning infrastructure.

Eunomia’s report makes recommendations in 6 key areas for an effective EPR scheme in Poland:

  • Collections: Municipalities should retain responsibility for collections of packaging waste and be covered by a revised national service standard.
  • Sorting: The sorting responsibility for separately collected packaging should be allocated to municipalities, with some conditions to allow for a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) to meet their reasonable requirements.
  • Governance: A single PRO should be introduced to coordinate the EPR scheme.
  • Costs and coverage: The EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive requires that the principle of full net cost recovery covers all packaging, and Poland should pass the costs of the disposal/recovery of packaging waste to producers.
  • Fee modulation: The modulation of fees paid by producers should reflect both the recycling costs (for those packaging items that are readily recycled) and the recyclability of the different packaging included in the scheme, with the total fees covering the costs of the system.
  • Deposit Return Scheme (DRS): A centralised DRS is considered the most appropriate form of design for relevant beverage container recycling.

You can view a Polish translation of this report here.

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