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Bulgaria gives out second recycling licence

Bulgaria“s Ministry of Environment and Water licenced Ecobulpack on 25 August 2004 as the country“s second co-operative firm to collect and recycle packaging waste, the company said. Bulgaria genera…

Bulgaria“s Ministry of Environment and Water licenced Ecobulpack on 25 August 2004 as the country“s second co-operative firm to collect and recycle packaging waste, the company said. Bulgaria generates 80,000 tonnes of glass packaging waste annually, according to the ministry. Under the Bulgarian Waste Management Act, which came into force in 2004, all traders and producers of packaged goods in the local market have to recycle 20% of all packaging they sell in 2004 or pay fees to the Environment Ministry. The share of recycled packaging will be increased to 50% by 2011. “In 2004, Ecobulpack will collect, utilise and recycle over 12,500 tonnes of waste packaging,” the company said in a statement. This volume is expected to reach 60,000 tonnes by 2007, when Bulgaria hopes to join the European Union, according to the statement. Local companies can organise the collection, transportation and recycling of used packaging individually or via a licenced co-operative firm such as Ecobulpack. Ecobulpack was set up in June 2004 as a non-profit enterprise by 34 firms, which include local cosmetics producers Aroma and Rubella, sugar products maker Zaharni Zavodi Gorna Oriahovitsa, and fertiliser maker Agropolychim. In July 2004 the ministry licensed Ecopack, another non-profit organisation, as the first packaging recycler. Ecopack was established by 18 major importers and producers of packaged goods, including Coca Cola, the Bulgarian arm of French food group Danone and Anglo-Dutch consumer products company Unilever. Another two similar co-operatives have been set up in Bulgaria, but have not yet been licenced. Companies or licenced co-operatives which fail to meet their recycling targets will be liable to pay fees on all of the waste packaging they release in the environment. Under state regulations, the Environment Ministry will charge BGL 0.1 per kilogramme for glass packaging. The fees will increase gradually by 2006. (EUR 1 = BGL 1.95583)

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