Approved Belorus waste strategy includes beverage packaging deposit legislation

Belarus has approved “National Strategy for the Management of Municipal Solid  Waste and Secondary Material Resources in the Republic of Belarus for the Period up to 2035”. Among others, high focus is given for the plastic waste and one of the solution suggested is introduction of the beverage packaging deposit law.

“The utilization of polymer waste, which is the most dangerous to the environment, is at a low level. The solution to the problems of polymer waste utilization requires additional studies and is possible through the introduction of a deposit system for disposable consumer packaging and energy recovery,” says the document. The deposit system concept is following (text from the strategy document):

“DRS (deposit return system) will include disposable consumer packages made of glass, PET and metal (1.8 billion packages per year according to estimates), except for packages intended for socially important goods, including baby food and dairy products.

The draft Concept of DRS offers a centralized model of DRS, in which management bodies are accountable for the tasks as follows: the registration of all participants and all kinds of packages for beverages involved in DRS; the development and approval of agreements (contracts) between all participants of DRS; the management of the labelling standard and maintaining an information database on the flow (quantity) of filled and empty consumer packages; the management of collection logistics (conclusion of contracts on transportation, storage and processing of packages) and SMR sale (conclusion of contracts); the collection of data from points of automated and manual collection of containers and quality control of procedures for manual and automated collection of deposit packages; the promotion of DRS among consumers; reporting.

Manufacturers and importers of packages and packaged goods (about 1,500 organizations) included in DRS will be exempted from the existing fees for organizing collection, neutralization and (or) use of waste. Types and material of packages, the amount of deposit, the waste management fee, mechanisms and terms applicable to settlements between the participants of DRS, as well as a number of other issues will be determined at the preparatory stage of implementation after receiving information on financial and material flows related to packages included in DRS.

The preparatory phase covers up to 1.5 – 2 years. It is advisable to start the preparatory phase in 2017. All participants of the system should exchange information on the number of packaged goods delivered to the market and the volumes of returned packages. The calculations show that at practically equal costs for the collection of packages, efficiency of DRS is in 2 to 3 times higher (at least 80 per cent of packages is returned to circulation, compared to 18-30 per cent in the existing system) in contrast to the current system.”