Earlier, we wrote about the Dutch government introducing a deposit for all cans and small bottles in the Netherlands in an attempt to reduce our litter and pollution footprint. Now, Belgium is also in. Flanders wants to introduce the deposit on cans and bottles starting from 2025. The exact amount for the deposit has yet to be determined, but it’s possible that people in Belgium receive 20 to 25 cents for each small bottle or can.
What's the deposit of cans and small bottles about?
The deposit on cans and small bottles is all about minimizing our footprint and reducing our single-use waste. Waste and micro-plastics that end up in our nature and even our bodies in forms of microplastics.
For Belgium, the big amount of waste and small amount of recycling are two very important topics. The average production of municipal waste in Belgium per capita was 779.4 kg in 2021 (source). This was an increase of nearly 31 kg compared to the year before. This was mainly due to the large amount of extra waste caused by the floods in Wallonia in 2021. Only 31% of the 8,979,881 tonnes of the collected waste was recycled om 2021.
Since 31 december 2022, the Netherland government introduced a deposit on drink cans and small bottles in an effort to down on litter. Supermarkets and companies are forced to take the cans and small bottles and arrange recycling to prevent more waste ending up in our environment.
Reduce litter with 20%
The goal was clear: Flanders want the sector to reduce litter with 20% in comparison to 2015. This has to be achieved before the end of 2023.
It is already clear that the sector is not going to meet the set target, according to recent statistics about litter and waste from the OVAM. Compared to 2015, there is now a decrease in litter with a small 11%. Illegal dumping even increased with 27%. Hence, it is time for the inevitable next step, according to Zuhal Demir, the Flemish minister for justice and Enforcement.
Everyone benefits from less litter and a deposit system. Both people and nature. Taxpayers now pay a total of 150 million euro’s to cleaning costs a year. With less litter, there is less cleaning. And with less litter and single-use plastics in nature, we can have more fish then plastics in our oceans by the end of 2050. Everyone happy!
The deposit of cans will apply for plastic bottles (small ones and till 3 liter bottles) and metal drink beverage packaging like soda cans. Later, they will decided if they add glass and beverage cartons.
The collection of beverages will become even more complicated in Belgium. An alternative deposit system will have to be devised because it is currently not compatible for the collection of deposit bottles and cans.
Zero packaging, zero waste
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