Deposit system used by majority of Latvian public

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According to the latest study results published November 17 by the deposit packaging operator (DIO), a majority or 93% of Latvian residents use the deposit system for drinks packages, while 71% of the population use it at least once a month.

As the main reasons to use the system, respondents mentioned the recovered deposit fee of 10 cents (59%), less waste in nature (43%) and environmental concerns (37%).

Compared to the data of the study conducted in May, the main reasons for using the deposit system have not changed. The rational motivator for using the deposit system – the recovered deposit fee – is the most pressing thing for young people aged 18 to 39, while older people (60-74) are more motivated by caring for the environment.

Speaking of the reasons why Latvia needs a deposit system, 80% of respondents replied that it was necessary to reduce the amount of waste in the environment and nature. 25% consider that the deposit system is needed to recycle as many packages as possible and to recover the money for the packaging transferred.

“The evidence that citizens use the deposit system is seen in meadows and forests – there is a lot less waste, and it is hoped that by extending the range of accepted packages it will become even less. The deposit system also improves the quality and extent of sorting. The system works very well and we hope it will work even better in the second year,” said Zero Waste Latvija lecturer Maija Krastiņa.

The study also shows that 7% of respondents do not use the deposit system in their households. Of these, 39% replied that they had not yet been able to try the transfer of packages, while 31% mentioned other reasons: that respondents gave deposit packs to someone else who took them to the deposit point, and that they did not purchase products in the deposit package. 

DIO's logistics and infrastructure director Gatis Galejs told Latvian Radio that currently the system operates over 1,400 deposit points and 1,060 reverse vending machines. Around 40 more machines could be installed by the end of the year. 

The DIO study surveyed 1,017 Latvian citizens aged 18 to 74 in October 2022.

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