A €0.15 deposit on 2.5 billion cans per year is a “gigantic operation”
The introduction of deposits on beverage cans is a "gigantic operation" in terms of logistics, said director Hester Klein Lankhorst of packaging garbage fund Afvalfonds Verpakkingen. The fund is responsible for recycling all packaging such as glass and paper, but also for managing deposits. As of April 1, there will be a 15 eurocent deposit on cans, along with the existing deposit on small and large plastic bottles.
The quantities of cans and bottles are enormous. Every year, more than 2.5 billion cans of beer, soft drinks and other drinks enter the Dutch market, as well as more than 600 million large plastic bottles and 900 million small bottles. The intention is that at least 90 percent of this is returned to collection points for recycling. It is meant to significantly reduce the amount of litter that winds up on the street and in nature.
Statiegeld Nederland is responsible for the practical implementation of the deposit system in the Netherlands. Th organization’s director, Raymond Gianotten, said that "everything and everyone" is ready for the challenge. This not only concerns supermarkets, manufacturers and importers, but also the software needed to make the system function well. "It's a collective system."
To draw attention to the new deposit on cans, an advertising campaign is being readied for television, radio, online and public transport stops. "You won't be able to ignore it later," said Klein Lankhorst. There are approximately 27,000 collection points, including at larger supermarkets, gas stations along highways, at sports clubs, and also at train stations such as Utrecht Central Station and Amsterdam Central Station. The intention is that more collection points will soon be installed at all staffed train stations.
There are also plans to set up collection points at secondary schools because there a great deal of cans can often be found littering the adjoining streets. There will also be a specific information campaign aimed at students.
There are centers where the bottles and cans are delivered in large plastic bags to be sorted and counted. They are then compressed into bales for recycling at a large facility. The deposit is then reimbursed to the supermarkets and collection points that have paid the money to the consumer. "In fact, we are not processing waste but counting money because there is a lot of money in the system," said Gianotten.
Incidentally, there will be a transitional period before all cans have a deposit logo on them, because old stock in shops must first be sold. "It doesn't happen in one day. In theory, you can see both cans with a deposit and without a deposit on the shelves,” said Klein Lankhorst. The director stressed the importance that as much as possible be turned in, and not “wind up on the street.”
Reporting by ANP