Author: Laura Kulakova
As of today, 9 August, passengers and guests of Riga International Airport can donate their deposit packaging emptied before their flight at a special donation point located before the security check of the Airport. This way, the 10-cent deposit fee for every donated packaging will be transferred to the initiative of the Latvian Fund for Nature for preservation and restoration of natural meadows of Latvia. The process of donation is coordinated by the charity organisation Ziedot.lv.
This initiative was started based on the habit observed at the Airport that passengers tend to take their beverages up to the security check where the packagings are usually thrown in the waste bin, because they cannot be taken further inside the Airport. The donation point for packaging that was made by Riga International Airport in cooperation with SIA “Depozīta Iepakojuma Operators”, Ziedot.lv and Latvian Fund for Nature will accept empty, not flattened plastic and tin packaging labelled with the Latvian deposit label that is usually thrown in the waste bin before the security check. The sink placed near the deposit point is provided for emptying the packaging.
One of the key goals of Riga International Airport in the area of environmental protection is sustainable waste management and climate neutrality until 2030. “We are delighted together with our cooperation partner to take one step closer to cleaner environment and more sustainable development facilitating implementation of principles of circular economy in the daily life of our passengers,” says Santa Auguste–Šole, Head of Sustainability and Environmental Management Unit of Quality and Sustainability Department. “The Airport has set a goal to increase the proportion of sorted waste up to 66 % of the total volume of waste and not only our employees, tenants and cooperation partners can help us achieve this goal. Passengers can also help us. The donation point for deposit packaging in the preparation zone before the flight where passengers often need to get rid of their water bottles and other packaging is a double gain: the packaging is given for second use and the deposit is donated to the Latvian Fund for Nature to retain biological diversity and restoration of endangered meadows.”
As noted by the Latvian Fund for Nature, the deposit donation point placed at the Airport will contribute to the restoration of the natural meadows of Latvia, thereby retaining the unique biological diversity of Latvia that is valuable for us and that is admired by foreign guests. Zane Štolcere, Deputy Director of the Latvian Fund for Nature: “The situation with natural meadows in Latvia is dramatic, they are present only in 0.7 % of the State territory, and their extinction has not been stopped yet. It is a dying habitat; therefore, each preserved and restored square metre is important, natural meadows are a true treasure house, because on one square metre you can find even 50 different species. We are delighted for this cooperation and involvement of people that allows us to solve environment and nature issues.”
Miks Stūrītis, Chairman of the Board of SIA “Depozīta Iepakojuma Operators”, emphasised that the set donation goal is not the only gain: every unit of packaging will help us ensure that this packaging will be completely recycled and will not be disposed in environment or landfills. “We are happy that this project will improve the environment in Latvia, because the deposit system, as we know, is a practical step towards a cleaner Latvia for today’s society and next generations, efficiently managing beverage packaging most often found in the nature.”
Rūta Dimanta, Head of the charity organisation Ziedot.lv, notes that the capacity and results of the project will be ensured by successful cooperation with partners: “Losing the natural meadow landscapes of Latvia will make us lose a large part of the nature diversity. We highly appreciate that the new charity initiative joins the interests of the guests of Riga International Airport and every Latvian with regard to nature and preservation of Latvian landscapes for next generations.”
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