Beverage prices to increase with deposit system in Latvia

After introduction of the deposit system, prices are expected to grow by ten per cent, Latvian Radio reported on June 15.

The introduction of the beverage packaging deposit system enters the finishing stage this week. The parties concerned are delivering final suggestions on the Cabinet regulations developed by the Ministry of Environmental protection and Regional Development. It is known that the items included packaging deposit system (i.e., beverages in cans or bottles), will increase in prices by 10 cents: the amount that is given back by using the deposit system.

Municipal waste management rates might also increase because of the system, as the most valuable recyclables would be withdrawn.

The system must be in place by February 1, 2022.

Rudīte Vesere, director of the Environment Protection Department at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, says that beverage producers and other industries as well as the society are widely involved in the development of government regulations.

"The rules provide that the deposit system includes glass bottles, PET bottles, and beverage cans," said Vesere. "The deposit fee is specified at 10 cents per unit. [..] It is the same fee as it is in Estonia and Lithuania."

Estonia's experience shows that 90% of packaging is deposited. PET bottles are less frequent but cans amount to 97% of sold units. In Lithuania and Estonia, one deposit machine is used by around 2500 inhabitants.

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