On 7 October 2022, the “Clean the Jizera River” clean-up event was held in the Czech Republic for the fifth time. The employees of CARBORUNDUM ELECTRITE a.s. continued the tradition of cleaning the banks of the Jizera River, which flows around their company. A total of four rubbish bags were filled, mostly with drinks cans and PET bottles.
The issue of limiting the harmful effects of plastic products on the environment is addressed in Europe, for example, by Directive 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. The Czech Republic is investing in the sorting of plastics in the long term to achieve targets set out in the directive. The result is one of the most successful packaging waste sorting systems in Europe, which, according to EKO-KOM a.s., already sorts 82% of all PET drinks packaging in the Czech Republic. Thus, the Czech Republic already meets the new European targets, which set the mandatory amount of sorted PET bottles by 2025.
Some European countries such as Denmark, Slovakia and Germany use, for example, a deposit system in the sorting of plastic drinks bottles in order to achieve the targets of the directive. A deposit on all drinks bottles and cans was also approved in England this year. This approach is not used in the Czech Republic because, according to the Ministry of the Environment, the expensive investment required to introduce an advance payment system would not make sense in this situation. Of course, any system for achieving the objectives of the directive has a significant number of positive and negative aspects. One of the positive aspects of the deposit system is certainly the financial motivation for consumers to throw the returnable packaging into collection containers.
We believe that a gradual change in people’s thinking will lead to personal responsibility towards the environment. We’ll be happy when the time spent on outdoor clean-ups can be devoted to other necessary purposes.
Radka Novotna Environmental Specialist at Carborundum Electrite a.s.