Since 2016, when extended producer responsibility was introduced in Slovakia, the number of sorted components of municipal waste has been continuously increasing. In 2021, a total of more than 583,000 tons of municipal waste was recycled in Slovakia.
The European Union raised strict recycling targets for us to follow. By the end of 2035, the recycling rate should increase to 65 % and the landfill rate should decrease to 10 %. In order to be able to fulfil the demanding European goals, we need to raise constant awareness and improve education when it comes to sorting.
We try to inspire and motivate people to have a more responsible behaviour and sustainable way of life. This includes education in the area of sorting.
In January 2022, Slovakia initiated a deposit system, PET bottles and cans are now refundable. Of the total weight of packaging placed on the market, PET bottles make up 6.4 % and cans 1.2 %. There is still a large amount of waste from other types of plastics and metals, which still needs further recycling even after the introduction of deposits. Therefore, in June 2022, ENVI – PAK launched the campaign “Let’s deposit, but don’t forget to sort”, which encourages people to sort other waste.
The campaign is part of the awareness and educational projects of PRO ENVI – PAK to support waste sorting. Its main goal is to inform the public that even after the introduction of deposits, the majority of plastic and metal packaging still needs to be sorted.
Our communication goal is not to denounce the deposits initiative but to build on it. With the help of brands of specific products, inform, educate and show people how to properly sort these types of packaging.
The campaign “Let´s deposit, but don’t forget to sort” was initiated by PRO ENVI – PAK together with the companies Henkel, Nestlé and Unilever. It was supported by the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic, and the Deposit return system of Slovakia became a campaign partner. Other producers who are associated in PRO ENVI – PAK also joined.
However, this activity is open to any responsible producers who want to support education about recycling plastics and metals – they can get involved by signing the memorandum published on the campaign page.
For 4 months, we showed the public how to properly sort packaging of specific products. We provided information about proper sorting in the form of a banner campaign and sponsored links on social networks which directed to the page “Let´s deposit, but don’t forget to sort.”
The campaign continued in the fall under the name “Don’t forget to sort“. It was intended for companies that were interested in spreading information about the importance of sorting internally among their employees. Companies could use the official visuals of the campaign for internal communication between colleagues. They could also download prepared materials, post them in common areas, put them in internal magazines or share them on their social networks. For each material – plastic, paper, glass, metal packaging and beverage cartons, we prepared posters in A3 format and banners for online materials, for example newsletters and stickers. We have also prepared a general poster on how to sort waste correctly. All materials are available in the section “How your company can get involved“ on the website https://envipak.sk/zalohujme-ale-nezabudajme-triedit/firma/. Businesses will also find tips and tricks on the site, how to properly sort waste and what to watch out for when recycling.
At the end of last year, we held a talk-show for general public, as well as employees of companies and representatives of municipalities, about the proper recycling of waste, which was also available online on our Facebook page and YouTube.
We are currently busy with preparing new activities for this year. The message will however remain the same: we will continue to inform the public and companies how to properly to sort waste, and in particular, that deposit returns do not automatically mean that we do not create additional recyclable waste. We are looking forward to raising the interest of the public and companies in our “Don’t forget to sort“ campaign. We hope that the results will yield a larger quantity and better-sorted waste in our cities.