Forward-looking regulation accelerates recycling in Austria and the Netherlands

Austria and the Netherlands have taken steps towards advancing recycling efforts, explicitly focusing on beverage cartons. Both nations have implemented specific targets for beverage cartons, recognising the importance of separate collection and recycling in their waste management policies.

Background and initiative – a need for dedicated collection and recycling targets for cartons in Europe

In many EU countries, beverage cartons have not been subject to dedicated collection or recycling targets, leading to challenges in efficiently managing these containers. Without specific targets, cartons have often been grouped under composite or paper packaging targets, hindering the optimisation of recycling efforts.

The results – reducing waste and moving towards a circular economy1 by establishing clear beverage carton recycling targets

Austria and the Netherlands are demonstrating their commitment to recycling by implementing targeted regulations for beverage cartons.

Through continuous efforts from the beverage carton industry, Austria amended its packaging ordinance to include an ambitious 80% collection target for beverage cartons starting in 2025. This proactive step aligns with the overall industry ambition to achieve a 70% recycling rate by 2030.

The Netherlands set a clear path for increasing beverage carton recycling rates. They have established an effective recycling rate target of 34% for beverage cartons by 2023, with a gradual increase to 55% by 2030.

The implementation of dedicated recycling targets for beverage cartons in Austria and the Netherlands has the potential for substantial impact, including increased recycling rates and improved waste management. These targets should foster higher collection and recycling rates for beverage cartons, contributing to a circular economy and reducing waste in both countries. By directing focus towards beverage carton recycling, Austria and the Netherlands are proactively addressing waste management challenges and setting precedents for other nations to follow.

Looking ahead – raising recycling rates and encouraging other EU nations

As Austria and the Netherlands pave the way for beverage carton recycling, other EU countries may be inspired to adopt similar targeted regulations. The progressive approach demonstrated by these nations sets a positive example for industry players and policymakers alike. Through continued dedication and forward-thinking initiatives , Austria and the Netherlands can build on their progress, driving recycling rates higher and moving closer to achieving their goals.

1The circular economy refers to a system in which materials never become waste and are kept in circulation through processes including recycling, reuse and composting. It tackles environmental challenges by decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. Source:, What is a circular economy?

Regulations to accelerate recycling of used beverage cartons

Austria and Netherlands

For more information: (Austria) (Netherlands)