Riga International Airport in Latvia has opened a donation point for the Latvian Fund for Nature initiative, in partnership with charity organization Ziedot.lv.
As of August 9, passengers at Riga 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 €0.10 (US$0.10) deposit fee for every donated packaging will be transferred to the Latvian Fund for Nature for the preservation and restoration of the natural meadows of Latvia.
This initiative was started based on the habit observed at the airport that passengers tend to take their beverages up to the security check and then throw away the packaging, because they cannot be taken further inside the airport. The donation point for packaging, which has been set up by Riga airport in cooperation with Depozīta Iepakojuma Operators, Ziedot.lv and the Latvian Fund for Nature, will accept empty, unflattened plastic and tin packaging that is labeled with the Latvian deposit label. A sink near the deposit point is provided for emptying the packaging.
Santa Auguste–Šole, head of the airport’s sustainability and environmental management unit of quality and sustainability department, said, “We are delighted together with our cooperation partners 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. 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.”
Zane Štolcere, deputy director of the Latvian Fund for Nature, said, “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 meter is important, natural meadows are a true treasure house, because on 1m2 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 Depozīta Iepakojuma Operators, commented, “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 of in the 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 toward a cleaner Latvia for today’s society and next generations, efficiently managing beverage packaging most often found in nature.”
Rūta Dimanta, head of the charity organization Ziedot.lv, noted, “The capacity and results of the project will be ensured by a successful cooperation with partners: Losing the natural meadow landscapes of Latvia will make us lose a large part of natural diversity. We highly appreciate that the new charity initiative joins the interests of the guests of Riga Airport and every Latvian with regard to nature and preservation of Latvian landscapes for next generations.”