Deposit on cans: everything you need to know

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The deposit on cans in the Netherland is a fact. After long debating and a serious penalty of a 28 million fine, the deposit of cans operations is almost here.

When deposits on cans will be introduced

Starting at the first of april 2023, the Netherlands is introducing a national deposit system. Maybe you heard about it on the news, on a commercial spot or from your neighbor. The announcement of the new deposit system has been accompanied by much fanfare, and not without reason. It is time for a change. We have too much litter in the world, and introducing a deposit system will help preventing the yearly 2 billion cans ending up in our nature. A lot of the waste ends up in our oceans and negatively affects our flora and fauna. If we do not change our ways, there will soon be more waste than fish in our oceans. A sad milestone we do not want to reach. 

Some key facts:

The deposit of cans system: why now?

For years, we already have a deposit system for glass bottles and plastic bottles. Now, the deposit of cans is added. People can start collecting small beverage cans and hand then in for a small deposit of 15 cents. Why now? 

The answer for this is simple: even though arranging the deposit system proved to be somewhat of a difficulty, it simply has to be done now. The world can’t wait anymore. Every year, the amount of waste we produce and end up in our nature is increasing profoundly. Every year, more than 150 million cans of waste end in our nature. 

The social objective of the deposit system is to collect valuable material separately, so that is can be reused for new cans or other useful applications. It helps in being a more circular economy. In addition, it directly effects the amount of waste in our nature. As it is expected to significantly reduce the proportion of cans in litter. 

Intake points for small cans and bottles

According to the website of the Dutch government, there will be more than 17.000 intake points for your soda can. Intake points for cans can be the supermarket, the gym, the theatre, and many more. 

Supermarkets and tank stations are obliged to collect cans, other entrepreneurs can voluntarily register as a collection point. Why you would do that? If helping nature isn’t enough motivation, maybe the saving on waste costs, charity support and litter prevention are good incentives for registering as a collection point. 

Register as a collection point

Want to register as a collection point for cans and small bottles and help preventing litter? Via this link, you can register your company as a collection point.

If your company is not a supermarket or tankstation, you are not obliged to distribute deposits. As quite often it is not very feasible for companies or entrepreneurs to set up a full payout system for the deposit. In this case, companies can choose to donate the proceeds from the collected cans and bottles to charity. You can choose this via this link. Choose a goal that fits the companies mission. When you register as a collection point, you pass on the choice to Statiegeld Nederland and you receive labels for the collection bags. 

Please note that it is forbidden to keep the proceeds of the deposit itself. 

The deposit obligation applies to all metal drinking packaging. As a non-mandatory collection point, you are free to choose a collection bin yourself. You can customize this with your company brand or slogan, or let your creativity go run wild. 

statiegeld logo

Conditions at collecting cans

All deposit cans can be recognized by the deposit logo (see the image above). The deposit obligation applies to cans for both alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, mixed drinks) and non-alcoholic beverages (soft drinks, water, juice, etc). The deposit obligation does not apply to cans that are not directly intended to be drink, think of liquids such as soup, condensed milk or lemonade syrup. 

There are some conditions for collecting cans. It is important that the cans have an undamaged barcode and the can is still in good state. Meaning the can is not damaged or squashed, as the cans need to be processed by the reverse vending machines (RVM’s). 

The video below from Afvalverpakkingen explains more about the deposit system for cans.

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