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Four waste proposals passed yesterday: Criticism from the opposition and environmentalists

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The main part of the bill is, naturally, increasing the rate on which residents pay for waste landfilling, scheduled to gradually increase from CZK 500 a ton to CZK 1850 by 2030. There will be an opportunity to avoid these steep increases if the residents in a given area increase the level of recycling from 35%, the base rate for 2019, to 75% in 2027. This will then have discounting bands built in where residents could delay the increases until 2025, and pay a maximum CZK 800 by 2029.

In terms of ending landfilling of waste, the government voted to postpone the original plan of 2024 to 2030 to give the country time to develop better infrastructure for recycling. Environmentalists are not happy as they say there are sufficient investors in the country who can build out the technology now. The Association of Small and Medium businesses on the other hand say that the delay will cost business money as new EU rules for industrial waste will raise the overall bill for companies which do not have sufficient recycling opportunities.

The bills that passed did not include a mandatory deposit system on PET bottles, but apparently there is nothing stopping a company to implement its own. Critics say it is neither economically viable, nor environmentally helpful for a company to try and implement its own system. For a company to implement a separate system, it needs to provide deposit returns at every location where sales take place. The Chairman of the Association of Waste Management Petr Havelka said that it is unbelievable that the heavily criticized, original versions of the laws passed. In the form that Mr. Premier Babis did not want to allow forward, in a form that the Legislative Government heavily criticized, and in a form which does not fulfill the EU recycling goals. This is a big problem.

The Ministry of the Environment turned to another focus: ridding Czechia of some single use plastic items that the EU wants all its member states to stop using by July 2021. There was no mention what effect these products will have on the total waste generated by the country, nor how it compares to the PET bottles that litter the country.

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