SUPERMARKETS and shops throughout the Valencian Community will be forced to sell a minimum percentage of reusable drinks containers under a new law currently being passed through the regional parliament.

By the end of 2023, at least 10% of cans and bottles on sale at stores must be apt for their reintroduction into circulation. Two years later, the requirement will double to 20%.

This effectively means that shops of less than 120 square metres will be required to sell at least one brand with reusable containers, climbing to three in stores of up to 400 square metres, four up to 1,000 square metres and seven for larger outlets of 2,500 square metres and over.  

Glass drinks bottles ready to be reused
Glass drinks bottles ready to be reused

According to the draft law yet to be approved, stores would be obliged to offer a collection point for the used bottles and cans at the entrance to the establishment.

If a customer returns a container without purchasing a new product, the seller will be required to reimburse them for the price of the deposit.

In addition, there are also plans to install more than 3,000 automatic recycling machines around the region before 2023 to dispose of single-use containers, and offering compensation to users of up to two cents per can or bottle.

This sum will accumulate and eventually be subtracted from municipal taxes or exchanged for ‘green points’.  

Under the future law, public and free drinking water fountains will be fitted in public buildings and spaces, using reusable or recyclable and compostable paper cups, while all large sporting, cultural and festive events will be required by law to enforce a refuse collection system.

All restaurants and hotels will be also be obliged to offer free drinking water from the tap for customers.

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