91.6% of the Portuguese want a generalized deposit return system for drinks

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A survey released today by the associations ZERO, Sciaena and ANP|WWF (below) indicates that more than ninety percent of the Portuguese are in favor of introducing a generalized deposit return system [1]. Environmental protection organizations released the results at a time when it appears that pressure from certain sectors of the industry is causing the Government to consider breaching the legislation of the Assembly of the Republic (which provides for the inclusion of plastic, metal and glass packaging) and introduce gaps that would exclude key elements of the system, namely glass packaging.

The survey now made public was carried out by a specialized company in late 2020 and covered a representative sample of the population of the territory of mainland Portugal. The main conclusions are that 91.6% of respondents are in favor of introducing a generalized system of recoverable tare and that 86.5% agree that this system should include all types of bottles and cans, be they plastic, metal or glass.

For around 85% of participants there is a clear reason to have a deposit return system for all beverage packaging – cities and beaches will be cleaner, and municipalities will save tens of millions of euros annually from street and beaches cleaning.
It should also be noted that approximately 90% of the participants stated that their recycling habits would change with the introduction of the system and that they would like it to be up and running as soon as possible.

For Sciaena, ZERO and ANP|WWF, this study confirms that the Portuguese agree with the provisions of the legislation and that they will adhere to the deposit return system for all drinks. In view of this broad support from citizens, we encourage the Government to resist the pressures it has felt and to keep all types of packaging in the system, as consumers want and the Assembly of the Republic has decided.

[1] What are return deposit systems?
They are systems where there is a payment of a deposit or tare when purchasing a given product. This value is then returned upon delivery of the packaging or container where the product was stored until use. They are best known in Portugal for applying to reusable packaging (which is refilled), but they are also widely used to guarantee the collection of disposable packaging.

ZERO, Sciaena and ANP|WWF are part of the campaign “Há mar e mar, há usar e recuperar”, a collaborative campaign that aims to ensure that the deposit system with return packaging is implemented in Portugal, in compliance with Law No. 69/2018, both in terms of start date and packaging materials. This campaign involves 40 organizations.

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