Political will to establish a Nordic deposit system for returnable bottles and cans remains firm. Some Nordic MPs are now considering approaching the prime ministers and ministers of co-operation directly in a new attempt to speed up the process.
The Citizens' and Consumer Rights Committee and the Environment and Natural Resources Committee met in Åland on Wednesday to discuss the next step in moving towards a Nordic deposit system. The committees decided partly to uphold the recommendation of a Nordic deposit system, and partly to raise the idea about whether a pilot test could be run in Åland.
"It is important to support the deposit systems already used by Nordic citizens. There is a strong desire to recycle everything that can be reused and we are driving the Nordic consumer's case in this matter", says the Chairperson of the Citizens' and Consumer Rights Committee, Satu Haapanen (Green).
Haapanen pointed out that technically everything is possible, but that they are not advocating any particular model at this stage.
"There is pressure and a strong political will from the Nordic Council but the decision has to be taken at governmental level and only then can a suitable model be developed in co-operation with industry", says Haapanen.
The ministers of the environment's policy so far has been to hold back on a Nordic deposit system with reference to limited benefits compared to the cost. The Environment Committee's Swedish Chairperson Ann-Kristine Johansson (s) is sceptical.
"I don't buy that argument. First we must wait for the analysis of the social benefits vs. the costs within the frame of the Nordic Council of Ministers. In addition, I would like to get a more detailed answer to how the money generated when the bottles are not deposited is used," says Johansson.
Martin Kolberg (s) from Norway, Vice Chairperson of the Citizens' and Consumer Rights Committee has worked for a Nordic deposit system for some time.
"The fact that a millions cans fall outside the system every year is a serious environmental issue. It is possible that waste disposal could be improved but that does not mean that we cannot discuss the possibilities of a joint deposit system", says Kolberg.
"Over time a system like this will act as a model for even broader European deposit co-operation."