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Tuesday 23.07.2019 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija

Eco Baltia Group: 2018 stands out with stagnation for waste management sector

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU2018 is viewed controversially by the waste management sector, because several unresolved problems have halted its development in the past eleven months. The problems have made honest competition harder and efficient long-term planning almost impossible, BNN was told by Eco Baltia Group board chairman Māris Simanovičs.

In these generally stagnating conditions only planned investments in specific plans have allowed companies to maintain stability and growth, says Simanovičs.

«For the waste management sector 2018 is considered a period of stagnation. This is largely related to the uncertainty regarding market regulation and waste-sorting system, as well as the change with Saeima’s political stance and the country’s overall waste management plan. Companies plan their work and investments several years in advance. This is why there needs to be clarity regarding the sector’s long-term development in 2019, so that it is possible to make rational and sustainable decisions for business development. In spite of challenges, companies part of our group have continued investing in waste-sorting infrastructure and technical solutions. At the same time, this was a year of stability and growth for the recycling sector,» explains Eco Baltia Grupa board chairman.

According to Simanovičs, the main problems companies of this industry faced in 2018 include matters of disorganized competition and unfair rules for market participants. Municipalities have become more involved in waste management sector in recent years. Because of that, private companies’ involvement has reduced. The hopes for self-cleansing from dishonest practices (illegal landfills) have not paid off. Control of market participants remains weak. New companies following old schemes remains a common sight.

For the country to be able to continue already commenced changes to environment protection and reach internationally binding goals, Simanovičs believes it is necessary to reach a clear view for the industry’s long-term development and ‘game rules’ across the entire country in 2019.

«Next year the situation on the market will be influenced by the tender for waste management in Riga. The tender and its resolution will be a major signal for businessmen in Latvia and Baltic States in general. Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry and industry associations should start working together on a new waste management plan to implement after 2021. Contents of this plan should be explained to residents as soon as possible so that companies are able to plan their future investments. Currently a great deal of emphasis is put on waster sorting, but in the future we will have to think and accomplish overall reduction of the total volume of waste on a national level, as well as increase recycling volumes,» says the businessman.

Looking back at recycling sector’s accomplishments in 2018, Simanovičs said Eco Baltic Group’s AS PET Baltija and SIA Nordic Plast experienced a period of stability and growth in 2018.

PET Baltija invested in modernization of manufacturing process, which allowed the company to develop new products and react to the growing demand for recycled materials on the global market. Next year it is planned to invest EUR 3 million in modernization of Nordic Plast, so that the company is able to raise its production output, productivity, raise product quality and competitiveness.

PET Baltija will continue expanding on existing and new markets.

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