The Netherlands will finally say doei to disposable cups and plastic food containers

Say bye-bye to your office’s disposable coffee cups — or at least prepare to do so. The Netherlands is planning to introduce a ban on single-use cups and plastic ready-to-eat food containers.

Steven van Weyenberg, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, announced in a letter to the parliament plans to ban disposable cups from January 2023. In 2024, the ban will be extended to disposable plastic containers for ready-to-eat meals. Start the countdown y’all! ⏳

The outgoing Dutch cabinet already discussed these plans with the businesses involved, such as the event industry and horeca, reports RTL Nieuws. A draft scheme is currently being tested until December.

Seven billion disposable cups per year

What’s the scope of this move, you ask? The state secretary reported that the Netherlands discards seven billion disposable cups and food packaging on a yearly basis. 🤯 So yes — this ban will have a massive impact.

He also hopes for benefits similar to those that were reaped when free single-use plastic bags were banned in the Netherlands. Since then, the number of these bags that end up in landfills dropped by 70%.

Baby steps

Unfortunately, disposable cups and ready-to-eat food packaging won’t just disappear overnight. Instead, the plan aims to gradually reduce the use of single-use plastics by 40% from 2022 to 2026.

The ban on disposable plastics also comes with some exceptions: cups that are reusable or can be recycled are included in these exceptions. For example, a minimum of 75% of disposable cups must be collected for mandatory recycling in 2023.♻️ This number will go up by 5% every year, up to 90% in 2026.

From 2027 onwards, this will also apply to the packaging of ready-to-eat meals such as salads and microwave meals.

What do you think of this step in combating waste in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Filmmaker/Pixabay

Farah Al Mazouni
Farah believes she's been on many adventures during her millennial life, each for a different (sometimes invisible) purpose. The latest adventure whisked her away to Amsterdam for love, and what a magical surprise she found in this city. Armed with imaginary confetti in her pocket, and ready to celebrate all wins, big and small, Farah says "ahla w sahla" or “welcome” to her latest adventure in this wonderland.


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