Small plastic drinks bottles will carry 15 cents deposit as of Tuesday but returns will have to wait until July 1 when the measure will officially come into effect.
The measure, announced last year by junior environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven, is aimed at reducing the amount of plastic litter.
Van Veldhoven told the drinks industry at the beginning of 2018 she would expand the deposit scheme unless the amount of small plastic bottles included in litter was reduced by between 70% and 90%. However, some 100 million of the 900 million small bottles sold every year in the Netherlands still end up being dumped.
Supermarkets and petrol stations will be required to take in the bottles but collection at other shops will be voluntary. Statiegeld Nederland, which is responsible rolling out the scheme, said it is expecting 62,000 shops to volunteer to take in the bottles.
‘Volunteering to collect bottles can be an attractive proposition,’ a Statiegeld Nederland spokesperson told NU.nl . ‘It is partly to do with a desire for more sustainability but sports clubs, for instance, can also use the money they get per bottle to use for activities.’
Bottles with a deposit are clearly labelled and will be sold alongside the remaining stock. The deposit scheme does not cover bottles for fruit juice or dairy products.
Big plastic bottles already carry a deposit of 25 cents and over 90% are being recycled, Statiegeld Nederland said.
From 2023 a 15 cent deposit will have to be paid on cans too, Van Veldhoven announced in February.
Environmental organisations, such as Natuur & Milieu, which have lobbied for desposits on bottles and cans for many years said the measures can reduce the amount of litter by 70% to 90%.
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