Local councils have urged the government to introduce a deposit system for plastic bottles and cans this year to tackle the problem of litter.
So far 328 out of 380 municipalities have joined a campaign by the Statiegeld Alliantie to extend the deposit system that currently applies to small glass bottles. They say the move would reduce waste in the streets and its impact on urban wildlife.
The cabinet has said it has no plans to change the deposit system before 2021 and wants to see if the drinks industry can come up with alternative solutions first.
D66 councillor Jan Lems, from Almere, which recently signed up to the Statiegeld Alliantie campaign, said the delay was the result of lobbying by the industry against what it sees as a restrictive surcharge.
‘Dutch people have had enough of all the plastic packaging in supermarkets and litter,’ said Lems. ‘Increasing amounts of rubbish are being dumped by the roadside on the way to school.’
A spokesman for environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven said it would take at least two years to prepare the necessary legislation. ‘In the meantime that gives the business sector an opportunity to take steps to reduce litter,’ he said. ‘If that fails, we will bring in deposits.’