25. October 2023
In Chile, recycling, resource conservation, and circular economy are pivotal topics for achieving climate goals. In September 2023, the decree for containers and packaging came into effect to implement extended producer responsibility. It builds upon the Ley REP 20.920 (Law on Waste Management, Extended Producer Responsibility and Promotion of Recycling) passed in 2016, requiring manufacturers and distributors to demonstrate lawful and sustainable collection and recycling of used packaging. To meet the objectives of the REP law and provide the Chilean industry with an efficient, circular solution, several companies have initiated ProREP, a purely industrial take-back system for packaging.
In 2019, a project to establish ProREP began, with RIGK providing consultancy services. As of September 2023, the 'Sistema de Gestión ProREP de Envases y Embalajes no domiciliarios para Chile' (ProREP Management System for Non-Household Packaging for Chile) is operational. Over 450 manufacturers and distributors of plastics packaging have joined ProREP, enabling them to prove compliance with sustainable collection and recycling of used packaging. With the enactment of the law, companies are also required to adhere to specified recycling quotas.
Coinciding with ProREP's official launch, the event 'Ley REP, Reciclaje en Chile: desafíos y oportunidades de implementación, integrando prácticas europeas en la industria' (Recycling in Chile: Challenges and Opportunities for Implementation, Integrating European Practices in Industry) was organized, with RIGK management participating. The official launch of the system also marks the conclusion of RIGK's consultancy project in relation to ProREP, including a focus on successful knowledge transfer during the event.
Jan Bauer, Managing Director of RIGK, comments on RIGK's role and the successful launch of ProREP: 'I am extremely pleased that ProREP has officially started, and we could contribute our expertise to establish the system. The significant number of participating manufacturers and distributors shows the importance of plastics recycling for businesses. The system also receives considerable attention from political circles, as evidenced by the presence and remarks of Chilean Environment Minister Maisa Rojas.'
Further steps in the international networking of ProREP with other recycling systems are already underway. In December, ProREP representatives attended the international meeting of EPRO, the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations, hosted this year by RIGK. Plans are in place for ProREP to become a full member of EPRO by 2024.