On 23 February, the Kaufland and Lidl retail chains will launch a test project for the take-back of beverage bottles and cans. Each chain will allow customers to return packaging in three of its stores. Spokespeople for both companies, which are part of the Schwarz Group, announced the news in a press release. In the Czech Republic, PET bottles and cans are not yet backed up. However, the Ministry of the Environment is preparing a legislative proposal for possible introduction. Customers who use the service will receive discount coupons for their purchases in shops.
Lidl spokesman Tomáš Myler said that the pilot project in stores is intended to support the idea of introducing the backup of PET bottles and cans in the Czech Republic. “Since customers will primarily return beverage containers to retailers if the system is introduced, it is important for us that the setup of the entire system is as customer-friendly as possible,” he added. The chains have not yet indicated in which stores people will be able to try out returning bottles.
According to David Surý, director of the environmental protection section of the Ministry of the Environment, the chains’ test project can verify whether people in the Czech Republic are willing to improve the collection of cans and PET bottles.
The introduction of the system has long been supported by the Backup Initiative. It brings together Coca-Cola HBC ČR and SK, Kofola, Mattoni 1873, Heineken ČR and Plzeňský Prazdroj, which are among the largest beverage producers in the Czech Republic. “Similar pilot projects have been carried out by the chains in other backing countries and have always provided useful experience that has helped to set up the system well so that it is comfortable for consumers,” said Kristýna Havlingerová on behalf of the initiative.