Wine and spirit bottles can be recycled from autumn

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Bottles of wine. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Wine, spirit and syrup bottles can be recycled from the autumn after an amendment was made to the Packaging Act. However, joining the system is voluntary for companies.

From the autumn, it will be possible to take the bottles to recycling stations (taaraautomaat) and claim back the deposit money paid in stores. While some cans and bottles can already be recycled not all of them can be. Wine, spirit and syrup bottles will soon be added to the list.

Kertu Sapelkov, chief specialist at the Environmental Management Department of the Ministry of the Environment, said the recycling scheme is voluntary but should encourage higher rates of recycling.

"This change will increase the motivation of the packaging company, the seller of packaged goods and the end consumer to reuse and return other packaging in larger quantities," said Sapelkov.

Producer responsibility organization Eesti Pandipakend will run the scheme. The company deals with administrating and organizing collection, transport, sorting, counting and recycling of deposit-subjected packaging across Estonia.

Kaupo Karba, CEO of Eesti Pandipakend, said it is easy for entrepreneurs to join the scheme but no producers have done so yet. Discussions have been held and the first companies will join in the autumn.

She also said the change will increase recycling. "The deposit system enables the collection of an average of nine types of packaging out of ten, for all types of materials - plastic, metal and glass packaging. Although glass bottles are already actively collected in Estonia, such a result has not yet been achieved," Karba said.

One of the founders of Estonian wine producer Nudist told ERR on Wednesday that the company is ready to join the new system and their application has been submitted.

Liviko's marketing director Eve Nõmm said that the spirit producer has not yet joined the system but there have been discussions on this topic. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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