Dutch poised to introduce deposits on small plastic bottles, minister says

Plastic waste for recycling. Photo: DutchNews.nl
Plastic waste for recycling. Photo: DutchNews.nl

Ministers are considering expanding the deposit system on drinks bottles to include small plastic bottles which are currently thrown away, Trouw said on Friday.

Junior environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven told the paper in an interview that the coalition has concluded the introduction of deposits on small bottles is ‘inevitable’ because the industry has failed to reduce littering in line with earlier agreements.

Van Veldhoven told the drinks industry at the beginning of last year she would expand the deposit scheme unless the amount of small plastic bottles included in litter was reduced by 70% to 90%. This, the minister told Trouw, has not happened.

The Netherlands has been debating changing the deposit system, which currently applies to large plastic bottles and some glass bottles, for years.

In 2015, the Dutch government tore up an agreement with the packaging industry to end the current system of deposits on plastic bottles.

The industry argued there would be major cost advantages if deposits were scrapped but the cost savings, in a report commissioned by the industry, were later shown to be exaggerated.

No decision has yet been taken about calls to bring in deposits on drinks cans.

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