On Thursday, 24 October, Saeima in the final reading adopted amendments to the Packaging Law, which provide a regulatory framework for the operation of the deposit system. This system will become operational on 1 February 2022.
“For almost 20 years, there has been an ongoing discussion about the introduction of the deposit system, so we are particularly pleased about the progress made. Opinion polls and people’s involvement attest to the fact that both producers and the society support the introduction of the system. In particular, youth organisations have addressed the Committee several times about this issue. It is beyond doubt that the young generation is concerned about the issue,” noted Jānis Vitenbergs, Chair of the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee, which is responsible for the progress of the Draft Law in the Saeima.
Earlier, the Chair of the Committee had urged the prospective system operators to take all possible measures to employ technology developed in Latvia in the technical solution. J. Vitenbergs pointed out the ability demonstrated by the producers to develop competitive solutions and stressed that other European countries are also going to introduce deposit systems in the near future, providing Latvia with an excellent opportunity to offer a new export product.
The Law provides that consumers buying products in deposit packaging will pay the price of the product as well as the deposit fee indicated separately on the price tag. Upon returning the packaging, the consumer will receive either the deposit fee paid or a receipt with the amount to be redeemed. The receipt will serve as a payment method at stores offering consumers drinks in deposit packaging.
Reverse vending machines for deposit packaging are to be located in stores, sorted waste collection points, and other packaging return points established for this purpose.
The Law stipulates that retailers will have to hand over the collected packaging to the operator of the deposit system. In case the operator earns any profit from the deposit system during its operation, the profit is to be invested in the development and efficient performance of the deposit system in accordance with an agreement concluded with the State Environmental Service. The operator agreement will be concluded for a seven-year term. The Public Utilities Commission will monitor the deposit system.
Saeima Press Service