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Returned bottle containers have brought EUR 24 million to a Vilnius resident and over EUR 65.5 million to Lithuania as a whole

A Vilnius resident has bought a lottery ticket for a reverse vending machine (RVM) receipt and has hit a record jackpot in the history of lotteries in Lithuania and the Baltic states, more than EUR 24 million, this week. The man said he just wanted to clear bottles from his car boot, so he brought them to an RVM.

According to public institution Užstato sistemos administratorius (USAD), all Lithuanian residents returning beverage containers have recently also set a record, claiming back over EUR 65.5 million during the year. A survey has revealed how people use their RVM receipts.

The impressive amount cached for returned deposits in 2021 was reached as a result of a record number of deposit containers returned, more than 655 million units. Over 341 million PET containers, over 272 million aluminium cans, and 41.7 million glass bottles were brought to RVMs and collection points.

‘The container deposit system, in operation for six years, makes it possible to daily contribute to global objectives, such as cleaner environment, a more sustainable economy, and lower CO2 emissions. More and more people are noticing that returned beverage containers are recycled into new packaging or other household items. This saves natural resources and energy. In addition, less greenhouse gas is generated compared to production from primary raw materials,’ says Gintaras Varnas, head of USAD.

In a survey conducted at the end of last year, 4 out of 5 residents indicated that the deposit system educated, raised awareness, and encouraged waste-sorting. Further, it inspired people to follow environmental topics.

According to a survey commissioned by USAD, per capita cash recoveries usually do not exceed 6 euros per month. 70% of respondents exchange their RVM receipts to cover shopping expenditure, 21% cash in for other needs, and 6% are saving this money.

The absolute majority (94%) of respondents indicated that the introduction of the container deposit system had reduced the amount of litter in parks, lakesides, and other green areas. 99% of respondents agreed that a deposit system was useful.

Almost EUR 3.44 billion containers have been returned in the six years since the launch of the deposit system in Lithuania.

About public institution Užstato Sistemos Administratorius

The deposit system has been operating in Lithuania since 2016. It is administered by non-profit organisation Užstato sistemos administratorius (USAD) established by Lithuania’s beverage producers, importers, and sellers. USAD collects 9 out of 10 beverage cans, disposable glasses, and plastic bottles sold on the market each year. During 2021, more than 655 million disposable containers were collected and sent for recycling.