According to Eurostat data (2011), every inhabitant of Latvia generates ~6 kg of waste a week, ~28 kg a month and ~333 kg a year. Thus every year Latvia generates 600-700 000 tons of household waste.
Approximately 20-30% of the volume of household waste accounts for waste packaging. The percentage is directly liked to the prosperity of people – urban population and wealthy households use a larger amount of packaged goods.
The total per capita consumption in Latvia is ~58 kg of which 35% is glass, 32% paper and cardboard, 22% various polymers (plastic bottles, plastic packaging of household chemicals), 5% is wood packaging, 3% metal (cans) and 3% is other types of packaging.
PET bottles form ~3% of the total amount of household waste.
Most of the waste packaging collected in Latvia is also recycled here. PET bottles are recycled into high-quality PET flakes by the factory PET Baltija in Jelgava, the factory Nordic Plast in Olaine recycles plastic films and packaging bags by melting and granulating them, while waste paper, cardboard and cardboard juice and milk packaging is used to make a range of paper products by Līgatnes papīrfabrika. The glass collected in Latvia is mainly processed in Lithuania and Ukraine.
In order to reach environmental management targets set in the EU directive on packaging and packaging waste, Latvia has to ensure processing 50-65 % of the total weight of packaging waste. Latvia is far from this goal. In recent two years the volume of processed materials has not essentially increased and landfill sites are increasingly loaded. The new production plant will ease on its part the situation. It has the capacity for processing 40 000 tons more waste materials per year, tells Reinis Ceplis, L&T Area Director in Latvia.
The environmental education programme „Green Dot School” has been running for 10 years. More than 1/3 of all comprehensive schools and preschools in Latvia have participated in its projects. Every year more new participants are joining the „Green Dot School” projects.