MINSK, 14 January (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has supported a container-deposit draft decree, Vice Premier Vladimir Kukharev told reporters after the meetings with the head of state on 14 January, BelTA has learned.
“This is a return to the tried-and-true Soviet deposit-refund system which required the collection of a monetary deposit on beverage containers at the point of sale and the payment of refund value to the consumers. We suggest applying such regulations for plastic, glass and tin bottles and cans from 100ml to 3L,” the vice premier said.
It is expected that a tender for operators with enough experience in the field will be held. A state-run operator will be in charge of the deposit-refund system.
In accordance with the research, up to 70% of Belarusian people support are ready to take part in the system. It will promote the collection of glass, plastic and metal containers and reduce waste disposal by 10%.
It will take two years to make the system fully operational. Large retail outlets and small rural shops will be involved.
A draft decree on the improvement of waste disposal and container storage systems was also submitted to the head of state. “It was prepared within the framework of decree No. 313 [on consumer waste disposal as of 11 July 2012]. Taking into account the requirements of the head of state, amendments were introduced to the document in order to streamline work in this field,” the vice premier said.
In particular, a proposal was made to allocate the funds of recycling operations for the construction of waste classification and recycling facilities at waste disposal sites. These funds will be also used to make manure from organic wastes. “It is very important. Soil fertilization is a complicated and demanding process right now. The situation will change. It was tested last year. Our plants recycled 85,000 tonnes of organic wastes and produced about 50,000 tonnes of manure, which was used in neighborhood improvement and construction,” Vladimir Kukharev said.
Authors of the draft decree also suggest stimulating manufacturers to make more paper and glass packaging instead of plastic packaging.