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Statiegeld on drink cans confirmed for NL

By 31 December 2022, statiegeld on drink cans will be introduced. This is what staat secretaris Stientje van Veldhoven has written in a letter to the Tweede Kamer. She is taking the decision early, because the number of drink cans littering our urban and rural environments is increasing rather than decreasing.

In accordance with the wishes of the Tweede Kamer, the government decision for statiegeld on drink cans will take effect at the end of 2022. This also gives the sector the necessary preparation time. A deposit of 15 euro cents per can will soon be charged and will be on par with that for small plastic bottles. The aim of the measure is to collect and recycle the approximately 2 billion cans that are sold each year, instead of letting them end up as litter.

Van Veldhoven:

"The corona crisis is this Kabinet's top priority. At the same time, I will continue to dedicate myself to a healthy and clean future in other areas as well. Some 150 million cans end up in as litter every year, about 25 Olympic-sized swimming pools, don't belong in our natural environment. This kind of litter can also cause injuries to animals. Implementing statiegeld on cans, that will soon be a thing of the past."

150 million drink cans in litter

At the request of the Tweede Kamer, Van Veldhoven told producers last year that the number of cans ending up as litter had to be reduced by at least 70% during the course of 2021, compared to the average in 2016/2017, otherwise statiegeld would be introduced. The legislation for this was prepared simultaneously, and was approved by the ministerraad in October 2020. Now recent figures for the year 2020 show that for the second time in a row the number of cans has not decreased at all, and has even increased by 27%. The trend is therefore not fewer but more cans as litter. This makes the agreed reduction unfeasible and statiegeld on cans automatically next step. By taking this decision now, the sector will get clarity and the necessary preparation time for the introduction of statiegeld on cans.

Small businesses and the catering industry exempt

Where the drink cans can be handed in will be worked out in more detail. As is the case with bottles, it is up to producers and supermarkets who put cans on the market to shape this system. The government does set a number of preconditions. Van Veldhoven has determined that the catering industry and smaller retailers will be spared, just as with the deposit on small plastic bottles. This means that they are exempt from collecting drink cans, and the producers of cans will bear the costs of the deposit system.

Less litter

In April 2020, Van Veldhoven decided to introduce a deposit on small plastic bottles to reduce litter. From this summer, 1 July 2021, small plastic bottles can be returned for a deposit of 15 euro cents. With these decisions, Van Veldhoven is settling a 20-year-long political debate between the proponents and opponents of deposits.

"I have always said: I think that left or right, the number of cans and bottles in litter must be drastically reduced. The most effective way to combat litter is to prevent people from throwing their rubbish [onto streets or in nature areas] in the first place. Deposits appear to be the right instrument for this,"

said Van Veldhoven. With deposits on cans, the Netherlands is joining Germany, Finland, Norway and Denmark, among others, in doing so.

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