On February 1st, 2022, the deposit return scheme (DRS) was launched in Latvia. This was a long-awaited event, as the introduction of the DRS had been a point of political debate for over 20 years. With the new DRS, Latvia hopes to increase the collection rates of plastic beverage containers to reach the commitments set based on the EU Single-Use Plastics directive.
The container value is set at €0.10 and grocery retailers serve as the return locations. Currently, there are around 1400 return locations set up in Latvia. The system accepts glass bottles, plastic bottles, and aluminum beverage cans.
Symbols of the refillable and single-use packaging are included in the Latvian DRS.
The vending equipment of the Latvian DRS. Credit: Zane Bitere, LETA