Israeli Lawmakers Pass Proposal to Expand Deposit Scheme for Bottle Recycling

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A recycling receptacle for plastic bottles in Tel Aviv, July 26, 2016.
A recycling receptacle for plastic bottles in Tel Aviv, July 26, 2016. Credit: Moti Milrod

The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee on Tuesday approved a proposal by the Environmental Protection Ministry to extend the bottle deposit requirement to bottles of 1.5 liters, effective one year from now.

The ministry had announced the plan two months ago, but it faced opposition from bottlers and retailers. Environment Minister Gila Gamliel said she would give businesses a year to prepare, citing the problems they face with the coronavirus.

Practically, the law will end bottle collection bins, which had been set up for recycling big bottles on a voluntary basis, on Israeli streets. In their place, machines for collecting bottles and paying out deposits will be placed at supermarkets and other locations.

The unusual situation in Israel is that only smaller bottles and cans require a deposit (of 30 agorot, or about 9 cents). This is due to opposition from beverage makers and ultra-Orthodox parties, which said a deposit on big bottles would be a financial burden on large, poor families.

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