Environmental Protection Ministry launches campaign to ready public for expansion of bottle deposit law

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

The Environmental Protection Ministry launches a publicity campaign via radio and digital platforms to prepare the public for the extension of the bottle deposit law to bigger bottles from December 1.

Environment Minister Gila Gamliel announced the extension of the deposits to bottles of between 1.5 and 5 liters (1.6 to 5.3 quarts) in October.

Since 2001, when the government passed the Deposit Law on Beverage Containers, a refundable sum — currently NIS 30 agorot ($0.09) — has been added to the cost of all cans of drinks, and glass and plastic bottles containing 100 milliliters (3.4 fluid ounces) to 1.5 liters (1.6 quarts) of beverage, to encourage people to return them after use.

But larger bottles have been exempt, mainly due to pressure from ultra-Orthodox groups and manufacturers.

Estimating that the move will save Israelis some NIS 56.3 ($16.7) million a year, collection companies NIS 45.6 ($13.5) million and local authorities NIS 4.4 ($1.3) million, Gamliel said in October that the deposit extension would ensure the economic viability of a plastic recycling plant in Israel and provide raw materials to local bottle producers that are currently having to import recycled plastic from overseas.

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