Estonia seeking to create common packaging deposit system with Latvia

Estonian Environment Minister Siim Kiisler is to propose setting up a common packaging deposit system in Estonia and Latvia, which would enable returning beverage packaging bought in Latvia for a reimbursement in Estonia and vice versa.

"The trade of beverages between Estonia and Latvia doesn't seem to slow down, rather the opposite. Beverage packaging without the possibility of returning is piling up and it has a paralyzing effect on our presently well-working packaging system and recycling in general," Kiisler said commenting on the proposal to be made to the Estonia-Latvia government committee. "As the packaging system in Latvia is at present being planned, it is a good time to create a common system," he added.

Estonia launched its deposit-subjected beverage packaging system in 2005. Mainly plastic, aluminum and glass beverage packaging is collected.

Last year around 291 million deposit-subjected beverage packagings were released to the Estonian market, which is 6 percent less than in 2016. At the same time, 231 million beverage packagings were collected in Estonia, which is also 6 percent less than the year before.

Kiisler added that a common packaging system with Latvia would be a pioneer project in the European Union on how countries can cooperate in this field.

In the EU the system of deposit-subjected beverage packaging is being used in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania and Croatia. Also, Iceland and Norway are using a deposit system. The same system is planned to be introduced in Latvia, Malta, the UK and France.

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