Minister Juris Pūce: The launch of a deposit system will contribute to citizens' involvement in the circular economy and the creation of new jobs
On 11 August 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers (CoM) approved the draft regulation “Deposit System Operation Regulations” drafted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, which lay down the regulatory framework for the operation of the deposit system in order to launch it on 1 February 2022.
The draft regulation provides a procedure for the application of the deposit system and the requirements for the operation of the system.
Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development Juris Pūce: “Application of the deposit system will increase the total amount of recycling and recovery of packaging waste. The possibility of recovering the deposit fee is encouraging, and the citizens will be more actively involved in sorting the packaging waste. The packaging of beverages included in the deposit system is expected to cover approximately 8-10% of the total packaging. In the context of development of the packaging waste collection system, the creation of new jobs can also be expected. As the deposit system improves, it is expected to complement and extend the range of drinks and packaging to which the deposit system applies."
The regulations adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers specify the types of drinks and packaging of beverages to which the deposit system must be applied, define requirements for the collection, recycling and transfer of the packaging waste for reuse; specify the methodology for determining the deposit packaging management fee and the deposit fee for each packaging unit, as well as duties of the seller of the deposit packaging, procedures for the selection of the deposit system operator and requirements for the operator. In addition, a special identification mark has been developed to certify the application of the deposit system to the single use and reusable packaging.
The deposit system includes the beverage packaging types with the greatest risk of entering the urban environment or nature, e.g. glass, plastic (PET) and metal (cans). The deposit system will allow the transfer of packaging of non-alcoholic beverages, beer or other fermented products with an alcohol content of up to 6% filled in * * PET or bottles of various volumes, as well as in cans.
The deposit fee is set at ten cents per packing unit, as is the case in Lithuania and Estonia. It may only be received if a special distinguishing mark is readable on the packaging, a barcode or square code and the packaging is empty. The aim of the Ministry is to create a user-friendly system, therefore the possibility of disposing the flattened packaging is also envisaged provided that digital authentication of the system user is ensured; however, the choice of this solution is up to the deposit operator. Upon the receipt of the deposit packaging waste a citizen will be reimbursed a non-cash deposit or will receive a cheque for the corresponding amount. It will be possible to get the deposit fee in cash in locations where the deposit packaging is accepted manually.
The possibilities for collecting the deposit packaging waste will be provided throughout the country. It is planned to collect the deposit beverage packaging waste at or close to the marketing sites (up to 150 m), the packaging collection sites and areas for collection of sorted waste. Collection of the deposit packaging outside the marketing places is intended only in cases where the trading venue does not have sufficient space to collect the deposit packaging.
The deposit system will not affect the competition between beverage producers and sellers – the deposit fee will apply to packaging of all types of beverages within the system. The deposit fee will apply to deposit packaging of beverages produced in Latvia and abroad.
These Regulations provide that the deposit system operator will compensate retailers for the costs of collecting deposit packaging from the end-user (collection, sorting, storage and loading) in accordance with specified procedures. The amount of the deposit packaging management fee will depend on the type of collection (manually or automatically).
Pursuant to the “Packaging Law”, the State Environmental Service will take a decision regarding the operator of the deposit system and, based on the decision taken, will enter into contract regarding the operation of the deposit system.
*The draft regulations have been drawn up in conformity with the delegation given to the Cabinet of Ministers in the “Packaging Law”, by which the Saeima adopted the fundamental principles for the implementation and operation of the deposit system in Latvia on 24 October 2019.
**Glass bottles with volume between 0,1 to 3 l (not including), glass bottles of other fermented products with an alcohol content of up to 6% of 0,1 to 0,75 l (not including), plastic bottles (PET group) of 0,1 to 3 l (not including), plastic bottles of beer and other fermented products with an alcohol content less than 6% of 0,1 to 1 or 1 L and cans of 0,2 to 1 l.
Information prepared by:
Public Relations Division
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development
Phone. 20200305; 67026533,