Deposit of plastic bottles: the waltz-hesitation of the government

Deposit of plastic bottles: the waltz-hesitation of the government

2023-06-09 08:30:21

The deposit of plastic bottles is definitely a highly political subject. Four months after the launch of the consultation by the Secretary of State for Ecology, Bérangère Couillard, nothing has really progressed. The studies requested from Ademe to shed light on the debate have still not been published.

The political decision, hoped for before the summer, is finally announced for the fall, “certainly in September”, says the Ministry of Ecological Transition. It “is postponed after the senatorial elections of September 24…” blows a supporter of the deposit. According to another source, some would also bet on a ministerial reshuffle this summer, and a potential departure of the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu, reputed to listen to local authorities.

Bataille d’arguments

In the current political context, it is probably better for the moment to avoid subjects that annoy local elected officials (95% of the electors in the senatorial elections are municipal councillors). However, the deposit for plastic bottles is clearly one of them.

Whatever their political edge, they are indeed headwind against what they call the “false deposit” (because the returnable bottles would not be reused, but recycled). In mid-April, they had gathered the press to unfold their arguments: the cost of the system or the risk of unbalancing the finances of their sorting centers. “It is a question of not destabilizing the public waste collection and sorting service”, insists Nicolas Garnier, general delegate of the Amorce association.

Conversely, the main argument of supporters of the deposit is based on the European objectives of a plastic bottle collection rate of 77% in 2025 and 90% in 2029, when it was not than 61% in France in 2021. “The deposit is the only way to achieve this objective”, insists Hélène Courades, general manager of Refreshing drinks from France, which represent the giants of the drink.

The projections unveiled a few days ago by the eco-organization Citeo, which also pushes for the deposit, also go in this direction.

However, communities dispute these conclusions. “We worked for six months on an alternative plan to achieve the objective: for example, improving out-of-home collection or making home sorting compulsory,” explains Nicolas Garnier.

The arguments of elected officials are not only financial: they also doubt that the deposit will make it possible to halve the number of bottles produced by 2030, as provided for by the anti-waste law.

Plastic pollution issues

They have also been joined in their fight by consumer associations (Que Choisir) and NGOs, such as Zero Waste. Germany is often cited as a model of its kind, with its deposit and collection rate of 98%. “But in Germany the number of bottles used has not decreased! notes Charlotte Soulary, at Zero Waste France.

According to them, the deposit does not meet the challenges of plastic pollution. “We spent hours in consultation on this subject of bottles, when it is marginal: we are talking about a collection of 100,000 additional tonnes of bottles, but plastic waste represents 5 million tonnes in France”, also deplores Nicolas. Garnier.

In the “pro-restriction” camp, we deeply regret the “posture” of local elected officials. “It would be entirely possible to find a new financial balance in the system. But the discussion on the merits did not take place,” said one of them.

The government will have to decide between these two clear-cut visions. The presentation of the Ademe studies, which should make it possible to objectify the debate, was scheduled for June 15 but has been postponed. According to the ministry, it will take place during the closing meeting of the consultation led by Bérangère Couillard. A meeting scheduled for June 19, after having itself been postponed twice “for scheduling reasons”.

#Deposit #plastic #bottles #waltzhesitation #government


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick