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High Court orders minister to explain why no deposit for large plastic bottles

Environmental Protection Ministry given until June to provide response for why deposit doesn’t apply to containers larger than 1.5 liters

A woman throws a bottle into a recycling bin in Jerusalem. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A woman throws a bottle into a recycling bin in Jerusalem. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The High Court of Justice ordered the Environmental Protection Ministry to provide a response for why it has not required a deposit for large plastic bottles.

The court gave Minister Ze’ev Elkin until June 2020 to respond why the bottle deposit law, which requires consumers to pay a NIS 0.30 ($0.09) deposit on plastic containers, doesn’t apply to bottles above 1.5 liters.

The law currently applies to plastic containers that are between 100 milliliters and 1.5 liters in size.

Wednesday’s ruling, which also asks Elkin to explain why he didn’t raise the issue with the Knesset Economics Committee, was in response to a petition filed by Adam Teva V’Din, an environmentalist group.

“The High Court of Justice today placed a warning sign before the environmental protection minister. The decision is an indication of the illegal conduct of Minister Elkin, who has surrendered to the pressures of the beverage companies,” Amit Bracha, the group’s director, said in a statement.

Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin participates at the Katif Conference in Yad Binyamin, on August 6, 2019. (Flash90)

Bracha also accused Elkin of taking advantage of Israel’s three elections in the past year, including an upcoming vote on March 2, to avoid a decision on the matter.

“The conditional order [of the court] is for an action the Environmental Protection Ministry is required to do anyway and will do immediately after the Knesset is appointed,” the ministry was quoted saying by Globes newspaper in response.

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