Serbian Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) Director Filip Radović has announced that the introduction of a deposit system in Serbia to regulate the return and disposal of packaging waste could be discussed in 2019.
“Work on a study is under way to determine which waste management model, i.e. which deposit scheme that would entail the return of money for packaging, can be applied in Serbia,” Radović told Beta, N1 reported.
The assessment will be completed during 2019, after which public consultations are expected, and this should be followed by amendments to rulebooks and laws to put conditions in place to introduce a deposit-refund scheme, said Radović.
The deposit system would first cover beverage cans and PET packaging, said Radović, adding that the study should also show how the deposit system will be financed.
According to him, any decision on the deposit system will be made in cooperation with the business community, but will be guided by national environmental interests.
Proven method deployed around the world
As cities around the world start deploying deposit systems, Istanbul, with a population of nearly 15 million, has taken its efforts to increase recycling rates a step further. It now allows residents to top up public transportation cards by trading in plastic bottles or aluminum beverage cans.
Deposit refund systems are a proven waste collection method that guarantees high material recycling rates, which is why they are recommended in strategic documents of many international organizations, Anna Larsson, Director, Circular Economy Project Development, RELOOP, recently wrote in an op-ed for Balkan Green Energy News.
10 European countries have a deposit refund system for beverage containers: Sweden (since 1984), Iceland (since 1989), Germany (since 2003), Finland (since 1996), Norway (since 1999), Denmark (since 2002), the Netherlands (since 2005), Estonia (since 2005), Croatia (since 2006) and Lithuania, where the system was introduced in 2016 and resulted with 92% collection rate in the second year of the operation, Larsson wrote.