04 • 07 • 2016

Beverage packaging deposit system for clean forests


It is such a pleasure to enjoy the beauty and peace of nature in a clean environment. The experience of Latvia’s neighbours Estonia and Lithuania shows that introduction of the beverage packaging deposit has both reduced the amount of litter in nature and increased recycling up to 90%. Such a system does not exist in Latvia. Also, the battle with glass, plastic, aluminium packaging thrown away in nature is not over yet. Every year the amount of litter increases thus endangering wild animals.

Pigman (Cūkmens), the patron for the JSC “Latvia’s State Forests” (LVM) campaign “Do Not Litter in Forests!” is convinced that introduction of a PET bottle deposit system is essential in Latvia: “If you could earn even a little bit of money by giving away empty bottles, I am sure that the amount of litter in our forests would significantly decrease.”

Every year, LVM offers thousands of people to get acquainted with the role of forest management and explains the importance of taking care of forests and not littering. This year, in forest clean-up days 130.9 m3 litter were collected. Pigman points out that almost 80% of them were empty PET bottles.

In 2008, Pigman took active part in campaigning in different places of Latvia, visiting 14 cities, talking about the plastic deposit system, introducing facts about environment pollution and collecting votes for introduction of the bottle deposit system in Latvia.

It’s been eight years and in the website

 manabalss.lv everyone has an opportunity to sign for introducing the bottle deposit system in Latvia that is already successfully working in Lithuania and Estonia. In order to pass this initiative to the Parliament, 10 000 votes are required.

 “Every signature is important. We have to unite and fight the cause – empty beverage packing, and not the consequences – the increasing amount of litter in forests,” says Pigman who in 2015/2016 started educational work with our youngest generation – kindergarteners. As a part of the program “Pigman’s Detectives” children explore how to act and take care of Latvia’s forests through various games and tasks. The program will be continued in this school year as well.

The PET bottle deposit is a system that allows giving away plastic bottles in special stands in supermarkets and getting money in return.