New deposit scheme for takeaway food and drinks containers to start July 1
A deposit system will be introduced for disposable takeaway and delivery meal packages as well as drinks to go starting July 1, the government announced on Thursday. This measure is designed to promote the use of reusable cups and containers. Businesses can set their own deposit charge for disposable cups and containers. The government provides the following guidelines: 0.25 euro for a cup, 0.50 euro for a meal container, and 0.05 euro for pre-packaged small portions like vegetables, fruit, nuts, and condiments.
In addition to the deposit on disposable packaging, business owners will be required to provide an option for reusable packaging. Aside from offering returnable containers with a deposit, they can allow customers to bring their own cups or containers to be filled up at the business.
This new measure will affect a variety of everyday situations, such as grabbing a coffee at the train station, getting fries from a local snack bar, or purchasing ready-to-eat meals from the supermarket.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, packaging for on-site consumption, including coffee cups from office vending machines or cups used at festivals, will also have to be reusable.
The Cabinet reported that in the Netherlands, an estimated 19 million single-use plastic cups and food containers are discarded each day. "We want to leave the world clean for our children and grandchildren. These new rules will significantly contribute to this goal by drastically reducing waste and litter," State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen of Infrastructure and Water Management wrote.
These measures form part of the Netherlands' implementation of the European Directive on single-use plastics. Other measures that are part of this directive include a ban on plastic cutlery, plates, and stirrers implemented in 2021, a deposit on small plastic bottles, and a deposit on cans that took effect in April 2023.