Big Cleanup organizer proposes new waste tax, free-of-charge waste collection

  • 2019-09-30
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Vita Jaunzeme, the chief organizer of Latvia’s Big Cleanup movement, proposes including a new waste tax in the prices of goods, which might serve as a “solution to environmental pollution”, PR specialist Gita Sauka, who previously has released information on behalf of waste management companies Eco Baltia Vide and Latvijas Zalais Punkts, informed LETA.

In Jaunzeme’s words, the annual cleanup campaigns that have been held in Latvia for the past 11 years cannot solve the pollution problem, and other solutions, like waste sorting and the packaging deposit system, are only partial solutions as only the “valuable waste” is collected, while the rest is likely to end up in the environment.

The Big Cleanup organizer therefore has come up with the idea to introduce a waste value tax as part of a new waste management system, which would be based on free-of-charge waste collection and charging the waste value tax as part of the prices of goods.

According to the system proposed by Jaunzeme, the waste value tax would be included in the prices of all packaged goods, which means that consumers would pay for the collection and disposal of the packaging when buying the product. As a result, the consumers would no longer have to pay for waste collection as these costs would have been covered in advance by the tax.

Jaunzeme believes that the new system would help prevent illegal disposal of household waste and environmental pollution. Also, the system would ensure greater social justice, as those who buy less, for instance, low-income groups and consumers who avoid buying packaged products, like adherents of the zero-waste lifestyle, would have to pay less.