Continuing to reduce the amount of waste in the capital, in Riga, from next year, reusable glasses or deposit glasses will have to be used instead of disposable glasses in temporary street trade and during events. In order for the transition to the use of deposit glasses to proceed more successfully, the new system will be tested this year at several public events organized by the municipality.
The first public event in which deposit glasses will be used will be “Līgo Rīga Grīziņkalnā!”, which will take place on June 23 in the vicinity of Grīziņkalns. Riga City Council states that reusable glasses have already been used as a voluntary initiative in several Latvian cities and events both this year and in other years.
“Such a system is nothing innovative. A similar decision has been taken by several cities in Europe and around the world. Zero Waste should be convenient and cannot be solely an individual responsibility. I hope that in the next few years we will be able to replace not only glasses, but also disposable dishes, as well as create solutions for food delivery and takeaway coffee outside of events as well," emphasizes Mairita Lūse, Member of the Riga City Council and Head of the Waste Reduction and Management Working Group.
Riga is taking steps to become a certified Zero Waste City and continues to work on improving waste management and preventing its occurrence. The amount of separately collected waste in Riga has grown rapidly, but reducing its amount is more important than sorting waste. In order to reduce the environmental pollution caused by single-use products both in their production and management stages, Riga has adopted regulations on the use of deposit glasses from 1 January 2024.
Regardless of the material used, the production process of single-use glasses creates an impact on the environment, for practical reasons their recycling is almost impossible, they can litter the venue. Research shows that a deposit glass that has been used often five times has less impact on the environment than a single-use alternative.
At events where deposit glasses will be used, when you buy a drink from one of the merchants, you will have to pay a deposit for the drink glass. You can refill the drink in the same glass without paying anything extra. When leaving, the deposit glass can be handed over to a specially created glass reception point and the money paid for the glass can be recovered.
Riga municipality has developed waste reduction and management guidelines for public events in the capital, which can be downloaded by any event organizer on the municipality's website.
Information was prepared by: Mārtiņš Vilemsons, Project Coordinator at External Communication Division of Riga City Council Communication Department, e-mail: email@example.com