Fewer cans and bottles in litter since start of deposit scheme

Photo: DutchNews.nl

Fewer tin cans and plastic bottles have been discarded as litter since they were included in the deposit return scheme, government figures show.

The number of cans found in rubbish since April 1 has dropped by 33% compared to the same period last year, Rijkswaterstaat found. Deposits of 15 cents on drinks cans have been mandatory since that date.

The number of plastic bottles discarded on the street has declined by 63% in the last three years, after deposits were introduced on July 1 2021.

The figures were included in a letter to parliament by caretaker infrastructure minister Vivianne Heijnen, who asked the highways agency to measure the impact of the scheme on litter.

The number of drinks cartons has also fallen by 57% from the average in 2016 and 2017, when they started to be recycled separately. Several local authorities have since abandoned collections of plastic, metal and drinks cartons (PMD) because it is cheaper and more effective to separate them at the rubbish collection point.

Heijnen said the figures were evidence that deposit return schemes worked, but cautioned against drawing hard conclusions from a single set of data.

She said that despite warnings producers would stop using metal and plastic containers to get around the deposit scheme, “there was no indication of a shift from packaging with deposits to packaging without deposits”.


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