In response to fluxes in the macroeconomic climate and shifting commodity prices, Lithuania's Deposit System Administrator (USAD) has announced modifications to the tariffs for various types of beverage packaging. Effective from January 1, 2024, the new tariffs comprise of 0.044 EUR per unit for PET plastic packaging, 0.019 EUR per unit for aluminum cans, 0.055 EUR per unit for disposable glass bottles, and 0.049 EUR per unit for metal cans.
Consumer Deposit Unaffected
A key point to note is that the deposit paid by consumers, which currently stands at 10 cents per package, will remain unaffected. This deposit is refunded when consumers return the empty bottles for recycling. However, the costs associated with logistics, collection, and recycling are distinct and are borne by producers and importers.
There are rising concerns that the increased tariffs on beverage packaging might trigger a surge in drink prices for consumers. However, the tariff changes are not uniform - some have decreased. The public institution "Uzstato Sistemos Administratorius" is tasked with the management of these tariffs and the associated deposit system.
The new tariffs are informed by the economic forecasts released by the Bank of Lithuania in September this year. These forecasts predict an average annual inflation of 8.8 percent for the current year and a wage growth of 12.4 percent. These figures play a critical role in shaping the budget, expenses, and financial stability for the forthcoming year, ensuring the smooth operation of Lithuania's deposit system and the accessibility of the container collection network to all country residents.