In the first three quarters of 2023, the deposit package recycling company Eesti Pandipakend collected and directed to recycling 261 million single-use deposit packages — this is more than ever before, compared to the same period last year, consumers returned 11 million more deposit packages.
The return of deposit packages has been growing consistently for several years already. Thus, consumers returned 227 million packages in the first three quarters of 2021 and already 250 million packages during the same period last year. The increase is significant — in 2019, 250 million packages were also taken to the deposit machine, but this is for the entire year. For comparison: 10 years ago, Eesti Pandipakend collected a total of 241 million single-use packages per year.
“The steadily increased return of deposit packages shows that consumers are becoming more and more environmentally conscious, environmentally friendly consumption habits are becoming more and more firmly established, and Estonians understand better and better that their actions have a wider impact. On the other hand, the return numbers also reflect the improvement of the efficiency of the Estonian deposit system. However, this does not mean that our deposit package return system is complete and cannot be improved. It can be done and we are working on it every day,” Kaupo Karba, head of Eesti Pandipakend, said.
In the first nine months of this year, consumers returned 107.8 million plastic packages, 3.5 percent more than in the same period in 2022. The return of metal packaging increased by 5.2 percent to 129.9 million units, glass packaging was returned by 3.7 percent more than last year and amounted to 23.8 million units.
The return of deposit packages also illustrates a broader change in environmental awareness.
“The long-term statistics of the return of deposit packaging go hand in hand with general sustainable consumption, where we reduce dependence on fossil fuels and pay attention to increasing recycling. This is equally important both in Estonia and in the global context, because we all live on the same planet,” Karba said.
The return of deposit packages keeps pace with the amount of deposit packages sold — Eesti Pandipakend sends at least nine out of ten deposit packages sold in Estonia back into circulation.
Eesti Pandipakend is a recycling organization established in 2005 on the basis of the Packaging Act, whose task is to manage and organize the nationwide collection, transport, counting, sorting and recycling of beverage packaging with a deposit. 384 packaging companies, 818 merchant-owned return points and 448 HoReCa sector collection points have been merged with Eesti Pandipakend.
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