Circular economy

Packaging recycling

ARA organises and finances the collection, sorting and recovery of packaging waste in Austria. Together with our partners, we provide households and businesses throughout the country with a well-developed collection infrastructure and convenient and cost-efficient waste management solutions that facilitate efficient collection and eco-friendly recovery.

Consumers can use our around 1.8 million bins for the collection of waste packaging made of paper, plastic, metal and glass. In addition, we organise a kerbside collection service for packaging (yellow bag/yellow bin) for 1.6 million households.

More than one million tonnes of packaging and waste paper are sorted and collected this way. Around 90 % of the material is sent for recycling and turned into new products. The rest is utilised as a valuable industrial fuel or converted into energy (district heating).

In Austria, the separate collection and recovery of packaging waste helps save more than 500,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. This corresponds to around 6 % of the annual emissions caused by all passenger cars registered in Austria.

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Paper packaging


ARA collects around 300,000 tonnes of paper packaging each year. Of this, business and industry account for roughly two-thirds, and households and SMEs account for the remaining third. Paper packaging from households and small businesses is collected together with other paper products (e.g. newspapers, journals, or other print products).

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Plastic packaging


There are two household schemes: In around 60 % of Austria, packaging made of plastic or composite materials is collected in yellow bags or bins together with packaging made of wood, textiles, ceramics and biodegradable materials.

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Metal packaging


Metal packaging is mainly collected in blue bins, which are located at central collection points. In some regions, metal packaging is collected together with light-weight packaging and then sorted. In others, it is collected together with other metal waste (e.g. scrap metal, ironmongery), with the associated costs being covered by the municipalities.

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Glass packaging


Within the ARA service group, Austria Glas Recycling is responsible for organising the collection and recovery of glass packaging. Around 80,600 waste glass containers throughout the country are available for the collection of used glass packaging.

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Drink cartons


In most of Austria, beverage cartons have been collected together with other types of packaging since 2016 (yellow bag/yellow bin scheme). A separate collection service (Öko-Box scheme) is continued only in Vienna.

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