The e-commerce segment has strongly developed in Romania in the last 10 years, especially during the pandemic and, according to public data analyzed by Clean Recycle, approximately 10,000 online platforms are active in Romania, selling products from various categories.
However, the number of online operators who fulfill their legal obligation to recycle and recover a percentage of 60% of the packaging waste placed on the market is still low, according to Clean Recycle specialists.
In Romania, sales in the e-commerce sector reached the threshold of EUR 6.2 billion in 2021, and at the end of 2022 they will exceed EUR 6.8 billion, registering a 10%* increase, according to industry data.
Daily online shopping of 17 million EUR, in the last year in Romania
In the last year, 38% of Romanians bought products from e-commerce platforms** and the amount of packaging waste generated as a result of these deliveries amounts to several tens of thousands of tons annually, according to Clean Recycle specialists.
However, all operators have the obligation to fully report the quantities of packaging and packaging waste placed on the Romanian market, as well as to recover and put them back into the economic circuit, even if the packaging comes from imports.
“According to Clean Recycle data, e-commerce operators report a very small, insignificant percentage of the packaging waste they bring to the market and the main reason is the lack of information on legal obligations, as well as the means of coercion for those who do not fulfill these obligations. There are two types of packaging that must be reported, in online purchases: the packaging through which the package is delivered to the consumer, but also the packaging of the commercialized product,” Cosmin Monda, founder and CEO of Clean Recycle states.
In particular, the beauty and cosmetic products segment, but also household appliances or other segments of electronic commerce, including products imported and sold locally online are absent from the recycling market (they are not found in the reports on the collection and recovery of packaging waste), although they generate tons of packaging annually, on the local market.
All packaging waste generators are obliged to recycle and recover 60% of the quantities placed on the market. Otherwise, they have a fiscal obligation of 2 lei/kilogram for the unreported and unutilized quantities.
The main categories of products traded at the level of the European Union, in 2021, were clothing (68%), food deliveries (31%), furniture and home accessories (29%), cosmetics and beauty products (27%) .
Clean Recycle is one of the top 5 players in the local market of the transfer of responsibility for packaging waste (OIREP), taking over the obligation to report, collect and recover packaging and packaging waste placed on the market by manufacturers and importers. Clean Recycle manages a portfolio of over 700 companies that produce and market packaging waste, active throughout Romania, from fields such as FMCG and retail, agribusiness, automotive, distribution, industrial production, pharmaceuticals, etc.