15 cent deposits on cans, but Heineken is still dragging its feet

Empty beer cans on the street
Empty beer cans on the street. Photo: DutchNews.nl

Government inspectors and brewers Heineken and Grolsh, are in dispute about the continued use of cans without a logo saying they have a deposit, the AD reported on Friday.

Heineken plans to continue using logo-free cans after April 1 even though the deposit system is being expanded to cover them from that date.

The brewer says it plans to keep filling logo-free cans until early May, when the last of its brands has been adapted, in order not to waste metal and cardboard. Grolsch has taken a similar position.

But the inspectors say that only cans manufactured before April 1 can be used without a logo from that date. A spokesman for environment minister Vivianne Heijnen confirmed: ‘After April 1, stockpiled supplies can be sold. But everything produced from that date must be in a can with a deposit logo.’

The inspectorate says it will intervene if Heineken continues to produce cans without the logo. ‘Companies have had enough time to make changes,’ a spokesman said.

From April 1, 15 cent deposits will be applied to all alcoholic and soft drinks cans

AB InBev (Jupiler, Hertog Jan) and Royal Swinkels (Bavaria, Palm) told the AD they will only use deposit cans from April 1, as will Coca Cola and Red Bull.


Raymond Gianotten of Statiegeld Nederland, which runs the deposit return scheme, said earlier this week he expects around 2.5 billion cans a year to be handed in, raising the total amount paid in deposits to €700 million.

Some 27,000 locations to return cans are being set up. In supermarkets, for example, the regular bottle return machines have been adapted and all branches are ready for the change, according to food retail association CBL.

Deposits will not automatically be refunded everywhere, however. The refund on cans handed in at amusement parks, cinemas and sports clubs, for example, will go to charity.

In addition, cans which have been flattened may also be an issue because the scanners will not be able to read the bar codes.

The Netherlands introduced deposits of 15 cents on small bottles in July 2021 and that led to a t0% drop in the number found in litter, according to government figures.

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