A €0.15 deposit on water, soft drink and beer cans will be introduced from December 31, 2022. Good news for the environment, not so good for those who love to litter. 

The deposit system’s aim is to reduce the number of cans that are littered in the street, according to State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management Stientje van Veldhoven.

A deposit system for large plastic bottles has already been in place since 2006.

Van Veldhoven told the NOS that almost two billion cans are sold in the Netherlands every year. Of these, 150 million end up in the environment. That’s enough to fill 25 Olympic swimming pools. 

The cabinet previously suggested they would impose this deposit on cans if producers did not ensure that aluminium litter dropped below 70% of the 2016-2017 average. This did not happen, and instead, the number of cans littered rose by 27%. 

A deposit of €0.15 will also be introduced for small plastic bottles from July 1, 2021, to reduce the amount of plastic wasted.

Research behind the measure 

Research shows that people are happy to return bottles and cans to get back their €0.15. Van Veldhoven says it is predicted that 70-90% of bottles and cans will be returned for a deposit of this price.

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Producers of cans have long resisted this measure as they believe that it will not be profitable. However, Van Veldhoven says that introducing the deposit will benefit the environment and is the best way to prevent people from littering. 

Exactly how people will return their cans and small plastic bottles is yet to be ironed out. Van Veldhoven says that this has to be decided by producers, supermarkets and other providers. 

The Central Food Agency (CBL) has stated that it is preparing for the deposit system, but setting it up is not as straightforward as it might seem. Plastic bottles are mainly returned at supermarkets as that is where a large proportion of bottles are sold. 

According to CBL around 50% of cans are sold outside of supermarkets, therefore it makes sense for these other providers to contribute to the development of a deposit system. 

Feature Image: alleksana/Pexels

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