After stretching the rubber for 20 years, the outlines of when the bulk deposit system will start operating in Latvia are finally quite clear. It will be February 1. The State Environmental Service confirmed today that the deposit system implementer selected in the tender a year ago has been able to prepare everything quickly and the system will start operating.
From the first of February, 10 cents will be added to the price of soft drinks, beer, cider and cocktails filled in tin, plastic and glass packaging. They can be recovered if the packaging is handed over to one of the 700 specialized deposit machines, kiosks or more than 700 manual packaging acceptance points at points of sale. The more bulk, the higher the amount receivable. In an effort to recover money, people will not throw waste in nature.
“Against the transferred deposit, the machine will issue a coupon, which will be used as a means of payment in the same store for the purchase of any type of goods. If the package is returned to the manual point, the store will either refund the cash or draw up this deposit fee as a discount from the purchase made there, ”says Miks Stūrītis, the manager of SIA“ Deposit Deposit Operator ”.
90% of Latvian beverage manufacturers have already started to adjust the packaging design by including one of these two specialized deposit markings on the label. In addition, each bar code must be registered in the deposit system. The remaining 10% of beverage producers, including home producers, are still in negotiations. People will only be able to return cans and bottles that have not been flattened or otherwise severely damaged, as the vending machine must be able to read the bar code.
“Pretty soon, already in February or March, the products will be replaced with a deposit sign. And those who do not have this deposit certificate will not be able to transfer them to the system. Even if you buy such products without a deposit mark, these 10 cents will not be charged, of course, ”says the head of SIA“ Depozīta Package Operator ”.
The law stipulates that the packaging of beverage packaging must be accepted for stores with a size of 300 square meters in national cities and 60 square meters elsewhere. Today, about 100 traders oppose it. The Environmental Service will hold warning talks. If there is no result, a fine is expected. Its size ranges from 100 euros to 10 thousand euros.
“If, after the first enforcement order, these requirements are still not met and the deposit agreement is not reached, then we have the option, and we intend to do so, of re-imposing this sanction, increasing the amount of coercive money each time,” says the Director General of the State Environmental Service. Deputy Laura Anteina.
However, most stores have directly shown interest in participating in the deposit system, so by the end of next year there will be 1,500 dispensers and tare points.
“It’s easy to imagine a situation where there are two shops on the same street, one accepting the packaging, the other not, and it’s not hard to imagine that a shop that doesn’t accept will lose some customers. They will already want to get their money back, ”says Stūrītis.
Specific addresses with places for accepting used packaging of beverages can be found on a specially created website – deposit point lv. In addition, as their location is based on the previous territorial division of 119 municipalities, the coverage of the deposit system will be throughout Latvia.
“We are pleased with the fact that in a very short time the deposit system operator has managed to prepare all the preparations for the system to start operating. Therefore, at the moment there is no concern that something could not start working, ”says the Deputy Director General of the State Environmental Service.
80% of the founders of SIA “Depozīta Package Operator” are the leading beverage manufacturers in Latvia. They will wash the glass bottles and refill them with drinks. The cans and plastic bottles will be taken to a sorting center, the construction of which has already begun, and the material will later be sold for recycling.