Deposit refunds for plastic bottles: "In the Netherlands, yes we did! In Belgium, Yes We Can!

"Today we celebrate the start of deposits on small plastic bottles in the Netherlands. Pollution and the costs of the municipalities will fall sharply. The Dutch will have a nicer and cleaner environment. This is a great victory for everyone who has fought for this" says the Statiegeldalliantie Wednesday morning on the beach of Scheveningen.

The Statiegeldalliantie (Deposit Refund Alliance) is an alliance of more than 1.100 Dutch and Belgian municipalities, companies and citizens organisations who demand for deposit refund systems in both the Netherlands and Belgium.

Thursday, July 1 starts the deposit on small plastic bottles in the Netherlands. The Statiegeldalliantie and its more than 1,100 partners campaigned for this since 2017, under the banner "Statiegeld, Yes We Can". "We are very pleased that the first phase of the Dutch deposit expansion is now finally starting with the deposit on plastic bottles".

State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management Stientje van Veldhoven (picture) decided on deposits on bottles in April 2020 and on cans in February 2021. The deposit on cans will take effect on 31 December 2022.

The positive impact on the Dutch environment will be historic. Currently, around 200 million bottles and cans end up in the environment every year. So every day 4 rubbish trucks full of bottles and 5 rubbish trucks full of cans in nature. A deposit reduces the number of bottles and cans in the environment by 70 to 90 per cent.

"When the second phase of the deposit on cans starts, cows will also be less at risk of being hurt by pieces of tin," the alliance emphasises. In Germany today, cans account for only 0.03 per cent of litter. The German government decided on 20 January to extend the German deposit system to drinks containers for juices, wine and dairy products.

The alliance, together with its partners, is also doing an event in the port of Antwerp on 1 July. "The Alliance is a unique cooperation of Dutch and Belgian municipalities, associations and companies. Now that deposits on plastic bottles are introduced in the Netherlands, the contrast with Belgium, where there is a sharp increase in litter, will become ever greater. We therefore urge the Belgian regional governments to quickly follow the Dutch example. Statiegeld, Yes We Can!", concludes the Belgian-Dutch alliance for deposit refund systems.

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