Draft amendments to the Law on Packaging and Packaging Waste

If the Serbian Parliament adopts amendments to the Law on Plastic and Plastic Waste, shoppers will have pay a deposit on plastic bottles that are used for water, juice, yoghurt, glass packaging and disposable cans, when they buy these products, and will get a refund of the deposit money when they return the packaging to the shops.

If the amendments are adopted, shoppers will have to keep plastic, glass and aluminium packaging, as some now do with beer bottles, in order to recover their deposit. It is not yet known whether this will lead to an increase in the price of the aforementioned products.

Filip Abramovic, from the Ministry of Environmental Protection, which is in charge of waste management, underlines that the Ministry’s aim is for the amendments not to be to the detriment of shoppers.

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“We will find out whether this will lead to higher prices once we perform relevant economic analyses in the next period. The whole point of the deposit system is to reduce waste and protect the environment. The first step will be to increase the pace of waste collection,” Abramovic added.

He went on to say that the amendments were in line with the EU directive. The aim, he says, is to motivate citizens to return disposable packaging and participate in the environmental process. When asked why this problem is not solved by providing containers for the separate collection of primary waste so that citizens do not have to keep and return packaging, Filipovic says that that experiment has had little success over the last 11 years.

“Belgrade is already implementing such a system, but local governments in Serbia are not able to provide enough containers for recyclable plastic,” explains Abramovic and adds that “the money deposit system is an additional mechanism used towards reducing waste more effectively.”

(Vecernje Novosti, 22.02.2020)



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