In all deposit points it will be possible to hand in valid deposit packaging, regardless of where it was purchased. A valid deposit packaging is empty, not flattened or broken, it has a label with a clearly legible deposit mark and barcode. There will be two types of depositing points in Latvia: automatic, where the packaging is accepted by the vending machines, and manual, where the packaging is accepted by a shop employee.

To hand in the empty deposit packaging in the automatic acceptance point, place them in the vending machine one by one with the lower part facing forward. When you have handed in all the deposit packaging into the vending machine, click on the button on the screen to complete the operation and receive the deposit coupon for the delivered packaging units. Use the deposit coupon to pay for the purchase in the store indicated in the coupon. *The coupon can be used as a means of payment for the purchase of any goods available in the store. 

*Each point of sale may offer additional options for using the coupon, about which it will inform its customers separately:

  • Possibility to use the coupon to pay for the purchase within the entire chain of stores;
  • Possibility to exchange the coupon for cash.
At the manual deposit points, a sticker with the “Deposit Point” logo and the information “An empty deposit container can be handed over here!” . must be put in a place visible to customers. Contact the shop assistant to return empty deposit packaging. The shop assistant will check that the delivered packaging is not significantly damaged and that there is a deposit mark and a legible barcode on the packaging label. If the packaging meets these requirements, the seller will provide cash for the delivered packaging units or present it as a discount for the purchase.

What kinds of packaging can I return at deposit stations?

CANS
CANS

CANS

Europeans consume as much as 50 billion aluminium cans every year, making them one of the most common types of packaging for drinks in the world! Aluminium cans are one of the most valuable types of packaging, and they are very sustainable, because an average can consists of about 70% recycled metal. Thanks to the strength and durability of their material, cans are capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and pressures, while protecting the drink from direct sunlight and other factors.

PLASTIC (PET) BOTTLES
PLASTIC (PET) BOTTLES

PLASTIC (PET) BOTTLES

PET bottles are one of the most common types of packaging for non-alcoholic drinks and water, as some 62% of all PET made globally is used to make bottles. Thanks to its composition, it is also one of the most sustainable materials, too: PET is fully recyclable, and can be reused to make new bottles, clothes, carpets and other products.

GLASS BOTTLES
GLASS BOTTLES

GLASS BOTTLES

Glass is a 100%-recyclable material made out of easily available and easy-to-extract materials, such as sand, soda ash, limestone and gravel. Thanks to its smooth, uniform and hermetic structure, glass packaging does not affect the flavour of the beverage. When recycled, glass does not lose its properties, and can be reused to make new bottles, insulation wool, or glass tiles.

Did you know?

Recycling discarded aluminium cans consumes 92% less energy than making new cans out of raw materials, while one recycled aluminium can saves enough energy to power a television set for three hours!

Did you know?

In recent decades, thanks to the ‘lightweight’ properties of PET, the average weight of a PET bottle has fallen by 48%, making this a more climate and eco-friendly material. Currently, most disposable plastic water bottles weigh just under 10 grams, while still being sufficiently strong to hold up to 50 times the quantity of water.

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to the environment, and has an adverse effect on all living organisms: sorting and recycling this material is critical in protecting nature, preventing pollution, reducing CO2 emissions, and saving energy and natural resources.

Did you know?

The energy saved by recycling a single glass bottle is enough to keep a 100 W lightbulb on for 4 hours! Recycling glass bottles also produces 20% less air pollution, and 50% less water pollution than making new bottles out of raw materials.

Refillable glass bottles serve as valuable materials for reuse: washed and refilled, these bottles can be brought back to the market and survive as many as 10–15 of such cycles, thus saving a large quantity of energy and resources that would have otherwise been spent on making new bottles.

The following drinks packaging is included in the deposit system:

Carbonated and still non-alcoholic drinks
For example, mineral water, drinking water, soft drinks, energy drinks, iced tea, juices, nectars
Cans
0.2–1 l
Glass bottles
0.1-3 l (excluding)
Plastic PET bottles
0.1-3 l (excluding)
Beer
All types of beer
Cans
0.2–1 l
Glass bottles
0.1-3 l (excluding)
Plastic PET bottles
0.1-1 l
Other fermented products with an alcohol content of up to 6%
For example, cider or cocktails, with an alcohol content of 0.5 to 6%
Cans
0.2–1 l
Glass bottles
0.1-1 l (excluding)
Plastic PET bottles
0.1-1 l

The following drinks packaging is included in the deposit system:

Deposit packaging items collected so far

20521421

Is the packaging a part of the deposit system?

Where can I return deposit packaging?

Frequently asked questions


Still have questions?

Frequently asked questions

From February 1st 2022, empty deposit packaging can be returned at more than 1350 deposit stations in Latvia. More than half of the deposit stations are automated and packaging can be returned by using reverse vending machines (RVM’s). The rest of the deposit stations operate manually and empty packaging is accepted by the seller of the store. By the end of the transition period (31.07.2022.) the total number of the deposit station will reach more than 1 500. People are able to return empty deposit packaging at grocery stores and other shops in their neighbourhoods, and in other locations where they can buy drinks in deposit packaging, such as petrol stations.
See the deposit station map on the deposit system website, ‘Where do I deposit’ section.
 

The packaging not accepted by the deposit system can still be discarded in the nearby sorting waste containers. The deposit system is a way to expand and develop the waste management industry in Latvia, and to improve the results of processing the most common packaging that is usually simply discarded.
If you bring beverage packaging to a deposit station that is not accepted in the deposit system, or if, for example, the label on the packaging or the packaging itself is significantly damaged, you will be able to dispose of the packaging in the waste sorting bins available near the deposit stations.

Insert the deposit packaging one by one into the RVM, bottom first. Once all the deposit packaging has been returned to the machine, press the button on the screen to finish the operation, and get a deposit coupon for the packaging units returned. Use the deposit coupon to pay for purchases at the shop specified in the coupon.

RVMs accept bottles with caps and without, though we recommend depositing bottles with caps, because this will ensure that the cap is recycled, too, meaning a cleaner environment. Also, if the bottle cap is still on, it is easier to preserve the shape of the bottle.

The deposit packaging you hand over must be empty, not crushed, and not have any significant damage; however, RVMs do also accept slightly deformed or crushed packaging. The most important thing when returning deposit packaging is to make sure that the label on the packaging has the deposit system sign, and the barcode is legible.

If the RVM is not working, please tell this to the shop’s staff, who will then arrange the inspection and necessary repairs of the RVM. If the operation of the RVM cannot be restored sufficiently quickly, please go to the nearest deposit station.

If there is no RVM, but you know that the shop participates in the deposit system, go to the cash register and check if you can return the packaging manually to the register operator.

The working hours of the deposit station correspond to the opening hours of the shop where it is located – this applies both for the RVM’s located indoors and deposit kiosks located outdoors, as well as manual deposit stations.

If the packaging has clearly visible Latvian deposit sign and barcode, is not damaged or flattened and inserted into the reverse vending machine correctly, but is not being accepted, please send us a photo of the packaging with clearly visible deposit sign and barcode, as well as the reverse vending machine location and date to jautajumi@dio.lv or via Whatsapp +371 20224214

No, the packaging purchased prior to the deposit system being put in place will not be accepted at deposit stations. You will also not be able to deposit any packaging bought during the transition period (before 1 August 2022) that does not have the deposit label. It will be possible to dispose of the packaging without the deposit sign in the nearby sorting bins.

As stated in Annex 1 to Cabinet Regulation 519 ‘Regulations regarding the operation of the deposit system’, the deposit system applies to the following types of beverage containers:

  • glass bottles with volumes of 0.1 and up to 3 l, not including;
  • glass bottles for other fermented products with an alcohol content of up to 6%, with volumes from 0.1 to 0.75, not inclusive;
  • plastic (PET materials) bottles with a volume of 0.1 and up to 3 l, not inclusive;
  • plastic bottles for all types of beer and other fermented products with an alcohol content of up to 6%, with volumes from 0.1 to 0.5 or 1 l;
  • cans with a volume from 0.2 to 1 l.

All of these types of disposable and reusable packaging may contain the following drinks:

  • carbonated and still non-alcoholic drinks, such as mineral water, drinking water, soft drinks, energy drinks, iced tea, juices, nectars;
  • beer (all types);
  • other fermented products with an alcohol content of up to 6% (for example, cider, alcoholic cocktails with an alcohol content of 0.5 to 6%), excluding beer, wine, sparkling wine, and fruit wine.
     

The types of packaging that may be returned to the deposit system are specified in Cabinet Regulation 519 ‘Regulations regarding the operation of the deposit system’. The deposit systems in place in our neighbouring countries, and all over the world, are most commonly intended for glass, plastic and metal packaging that account for the biggest share of beverage packaging, thus being the types of packaging most commonly found discarded in the environment, on the streets, and in public and entertainment venues.

Each country has its own independent deposit system and deposit sign. Each country's deposit system also has its own financial basis, for example, within the Latvian deposit system, beverage producers pay a deposit system membership fee for each deposit package placed on the market. Based on this, deposit packaging purchased in other countries cannot be returned to the Latvian deposit system, and only packaging marked with the Latvia deposit sign can be returned.

For now, the Cabinet Regulation does not include wine and liquor bottles in the deposit system. The deposit system accepts the packaging used for soft drinks, as well as beer and other drinks with an alcohol content of up to 6%. For more information about the drinks whose packaging is included in the system, see the website of the deposit system, section ‘What do I deposit?’.

The deposit fee is set in Cabinet Regulation 519 ‘Regulations regarding the operation of the deposit system’, and it is a deposit of 10 cents per unit of packaging, regardless of its type. The container is accepted for deposit if it has a legible deposit sign and barcode, and the packaging itself is empty and not significantly damaged. The deposit fee is not charged for any packaging bought prior to the launch of the deposit system on 1 February 2022, and for any packaging without the deposit sign bought during the transition period, which will end on 1 August 2022. 

You can get the deposit fee back if you return the packaging to an RVM or manual deposit station. The packaging must have a legible deposit sign and barcode, and the packaging itself must be empty and not have significant damage.

If the packaging is returned via RVM, the deposit fee will be returned in the form of a coupon. The received coupon can be used as a means of payment for the purchase of any goods available in the store. It is important that the deposit coupon can be used only at the point of sale specified in the coupon.
At the manual deposit station, the store seller can return the deposit fee in cash or apply it as a discount for the purchase.
 

The deposit system has a six month long transition period from 01.02.2022. until 31.07.2022. This means that store shelves with deposit packaging will fill up gradually, allowing manufacturers to avoid losses and sell out old products without a deposit sign. From August 1, the labels of all packaging included in the deposit system will have to include the Latvian deposit sign.

When buying beverages during the transition period between 1 February and 31 July 2022, make sure that the label has the Latvian deposit sign (disposable or refillable (AU) packaging). If the label has the deposit sign, you may return the empty packaging to the deposit system, while if there is no sign, no 10-cent deposit is charged when buying the beverage, and the empty packaging will not be accepted in the deposit system and can be disposed of in the nearby sorting bins.