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Exploring the future of Deposit Refund Systems

The EPR Club was pleased to reactivate our series of events with an engaging Lunch-Debate, aimed at kickstarting our activities. We are seized this opportunity to reconvene our club, discuss pivotal developments, and outline our plans for the rest of this crucial European Union election year.

This gathering took place on 26 March, hosted at our offices in Brussels and was accessible online, from 12:30 to 15:00. Alongside thought-provoking discussions, a light lunch was offered to foster a comfortable and interactive environment for all attendees.

The policy landscape around resource management and circular economy within the EU is under constant evolution. Challenges become urgent and more complex and interdependent, such as raw material shortages, pollution and energy market volatility. Deposit Refund Systems (DRS) have increasingly become a focal point worldwide due to their potential in addressing some of these challenges. However, like all policy tools, they have limitations which need to be well-understood for effective policy-making.

Five years following our initial report on Deposit Return Systems for single-use packaging, ACR+ has published a new report to delve into recent developments and keep up with the ever-changing landscape. We invite EPR Club members to take part in our upcoming Lunch-Debate where we will share insights from the new report and explore two additional cases of DRS implementation.

Participants of the lunch debate explored:

  1. Strategies to elevate DRS from recycling to reuse within the waste hierarchy and steps towards nuanced policy decisions.
  2. Implications of the recent negotiations on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, particularly regarding the obligation to introduce a DRS for the Member States if they fail to achieve a certain separate collection rate (proposed as 90% by the European Commission)

The event was open only for EPR Club members, ACR+ members or invited guests.


  • 12:00 Light lunch
  • 12:30 Opening remarks by Françoise Bonnet, Secretary-General of ACR+
  • 12:35 Insight from the Report “Deposit Refund Systems in the EU” by Tugce Tugran, Project Manager at ACR+
  • 12:50 Deposit system for takeaway packaging – case study of the City of Aarhus (Denmark) by Bilyana Ignatova, Head of EU Public Affairs at TOMRA
  • 13:05 Boosting closed loop glass – why DRS is not the right way forward by Vanessa Chesnot, Head of Public Affairs & Product Policy at European Container Glass Federation
  • 13:20 Discussion on DRS
  • 14:00 Discussion of future activities

Meeting Presentations

  • Meeting Recording
  • Open Managed System for Reusable Take-Away Packaging
  • Boosting closed loop recycling in Europe: Why Deposit Return Schemes are not the way forward for one-way glass packaging
  • Deposit Return Systems - Insights from the ACR+ report
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