Monika Romanska is a pan-European expert on the myriad of packaging collections and scope of EPR schemes in EU and UK. She has impressive knowledge of different packaging formats and the challenges of EPR and container deposit schemes (CDS), and variable pricing for different packaging according to cost/complexity of reprocessing.
We discuss the fundamental differences in coverage and price, for example that packaging kerbside collections in Australia are funded by the resident solely, whereas in Belgium the brand owners cover all costs right up to the processing. We also discuss the challenge that container deposit schemes cover some packaging but not all, and that littering is a cultural habit, not necessarily impacted by CDS. She celebrates the new tighter definition and rules for EPR set in the EU Waste Directive and looks forward to the formation of common principles for variable pricing and the determination how schemes will help meet the EUC’s pledge targets.
When she hears of our Australian comingled ‘soiled’ kerbside collection system, she shares a memory of visiting a sophisticated glass facility in Netherlands where they sort into five colours for return of glass to glass production, and how she will never forget the material from the UK comingled collections which was ‘garbage’. The EU is grappling with similar issues to Australia, however they are further advanced in managing producer responsibility issues around packaging.
Note: Monika speaks quickly