The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism said that, in 2021, 25 reverse logistics machines will be installed, ensuring at least one piece of equipment per municipality, implementing a non-reusable packaging deposit system in the Azores, covering plastic, glass and metal, with a capacity of up to 2.5 liters.

The system includes an incentive to the consumer per returned package, which is expected to be around 5 cents regardless of the material or its size.

“As a mechanism to encourage returns, the prizes can be credited by card, physical or virtual (electronic application), without the issue of paper coupons, and can be redeemed, in cash, at RIAC stores”, was explained.

Marta Guerreiro, who spoke at Horta at the presentation of the project, added that “in deposit systems that are installed by commercial establishments, the consumer premium may be awarded via a coupon or a discount card for purchases, discounts on store, products, or activities or services, among others ”.

In addition to the public system, it is intended that commercial establishments will be able to make their own non-reusable beverage packaging equipment available on their premises, at least for those whose main structural component is plastic.

“It is anticipated that about 10 more pieces of equipment can be installed in the areas with the highest population concentration, specifically in large commercial areas,” she said.

According to Marta Guerreiro, “one of the first actions of the project involves the characterization of the initial situation in the sense of defining the exact location of the equipment”, in a system that will have centralized management, allowing to monitor the quantities received and issue alerts regarding the levels filling and malfunctions.

Within the scope of the project, various dissemination, awareness and training actions will be promoted, in what is yet another measure that will “make the population aware of the need for the separation of waste and its proper routing, promote the circular economy, increase the quantity and quality of packaging collected and sent for recycling and contributing to the respective goals ”.

The project represents an investment of 941 thousand euros, 90% reimbursed by the European Economic Area (EEA) Grants – program “Environment, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy” and has an execution period of about 18 months.