ARA organises and finances the collection, sorting and recovery of packaging waste throughout Austria. Together with our partners, we provide households and businesses with a countrywide and well-developed collection infrastructure as well as convenient and cost-efficient waste management solutions that facilitate efficient collection and environmentally friendly recovery.
We provide consumers with 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 waste (yellow bag/yellow bin) for 1.6 million households.
Every year, more than one million tonnes of packaging and waste paper are collected separately this way. Around 90 % of the packaging waste is sent for material recovery and turned into new products. The rest is utilised as a valuable industrial fuel or converted into energy (district heating).
The separate collection and recovery of packaging waste in Austria saves more than 500,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. This corresponds to around 6 % of the annual emissions caused by all passenger cars registered in Austria.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.