On 6 September this year, the Baltic Region Thematic Seminar – an information exchange meeting was held to present the LIFE waste to resources IP project and to inform about the possibilities for replication of pilot projects outside Latvia. Representatives from the Estonian Ministry of Climate, the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (MEPRD) participated in the seminar.
Seventeen participants attended the online meeting. The meeting was opened by MEPRD Deputy secretary of state for environmental protection acting officer, director of the department of environmental protection Rudīte Vesere, with a call to share experiences related to the implementation of waste management measures. Alise Vecozola, Head of implementation of the LIFE Waste To Resources IP, presented the life waste to resources IP project and its deliverables.
Laurins Shinkejeva, representative of the circular economy department of the Estonian Ministry of Climate Affairs, took part in the presentation on the implementation of the INTERREG project “Promotion of Understanding on packaging deposits and Strategic approach to Harmonization of packaging deposit systems in Estonia and Latvia” (PACKGDEPO) and the results achieved. The project was carried out in cooperation with VAR over 2 years and concluded in April this year.
During the meeting, Mr Vecozola made proposals for further cooperation between experts from the Baltic States in monitoring the progress of pilot projects of LIFE waste to resources IP, exchanging experience in order to strengthen the impact of project results. LIFE waste to resources IP provides an opportunity to build a collaborative platform, promote the implementation of both practices in other countries and share project success.
The meeting was continued by Sanita Reinerte, senior expert in the Waste management Unit, on Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the environmental impact of certain plastic products (SUP Directive) and issues arising from this Directive and the practice of the Baltic States in implementing the Directive. The final presentation was followed by a discussion part in which representatives of all three Baltic States discussed current issues, including the exchange of experience on food packaging regulation, the application of the extended producer responsibility system to tobacco products in each country and the reduced VAT rate for repaired goods.
Discussions at the meeting have highlighted a number of issues and other issues of common cooperation. As Estonia's Ministry of Climate develops a new LIFE Integrated Project, representatives from Estonia continue to hope to collaborate with LIFE waste to resources IP Project.
The participants of the seminar agreed unanimously on the organisation of meetings in the future with a view to presenting in greater detail the pilot projects of LIFE waste to resources IP as well as other issues in the field of waste management common to all countries. Following this meeting, there is a basis for developing cooperation which is important for monitoring the implementation of the LIFE waste to resources IP.
The meeting also highlighted possible content for the next meeting at which we will present progress and lessons learnt with the executives of LIFE waste to resources pilot projects. If the meeting is held in person, we can organise Pilot site visits and demonstration.