First refundable drink can sold by online grocer Košík

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Czech mineral water producer Mattoni and online grocer Košík have launched the sale of mineral water in refundable cans, the Czech News Agency reported on Wednesday. The can is refunded by a deposit of three crowns.

Since January this year, Košík has been selling Mattoni mineral water in refundable PET bottles. According to company representatives, 70 percent of their customers prefer them over regular bottles.

According to Martina Ferencová of the Czech Beer and Malt Association, Czech beer producers are also considering the possibility of introducing a deposit return system on their plastic and metal packaging.

The refunded can currently sold by Košík contains Mattoni mineral water with lemon flavour, the brand’s most popular product.

“It is the first Mattoni mineral water sold in a can in the nearly 150-year history of the brand,” Alessandro Pasquale, the company’s general director said at an online press conference on Wednesday.

According to Stepan Vashkevich of the Institute of Circular Economy, some 700 million cans were sold in the Czech Republic last year, which was 100 million more than in 2018. Over the last ten years, the sales of canned drinks have tripled.

EKO-KOM, a firm responsible for coordinating recycling in the Czech Republic, estimates that only around three out of ten drink cans are being recycled.

“To introduce an effective handling of drink packaging, we need legislative changes, that would enable the introduction of a compulsory deposit return system for all producers,” says Andrea Brožová, spokeswoman of the initiative Zálohujeme.cz.

The Czech lower house in September rejected the introduction of a compulsory deposit return system on plastic bottles, which was proposed by the Christian Democrats. Meanwhile, neighbouring Slovakia is due to introduce such a system in 2022.