13 October 2023, by Emily Proctor

According to new data from the Rijkswaterstaat, one-third fewer cans ended up being littered in the Netherlands since the introduction of the can Statiegeld (deposit return scheme). The scheme sees people who return their cans to the supermarket gain a small amount of money back for recycling their cans. 

Statiegeld introduced for cans in April 2023

The deposit on cans started in the Netherlands on April 1, 2023. Since then, the number of cans found on the streets of Dutch cities has fallen by one-third. Before the introduction of the can deposit, the number of cans being littered on the street was actually rising, according to NOS

In addition to this, the number of plastic bottles being littered has also fallen, with more than 60 percent fewer plastic bottles being found since the same period in 2020, back before the government stated the deposit on plastic bottles. 

Number of drink cartons being littered on Dutch streets is increasing

Despite the positive effects of the deposit system on bottles and cans, there is no deposit required on drinks cartons – an item which is increasingly being littered on Dutch streets. Rubbish collector Dirk Groot, who has been taking action against litter in his free time since 2016, told NOS that he suspects more beverage cartons are ending up on the street because a number of manufacturers want to avoid deposits with this packaging.

Environment Minister Vivianne Heijnen, told NOS: “there does not appear to be a shift from packaging with a deposit to packaging without a deposit” by companies, and that the number of drinks cartons being littered remains stable in the Netherlands.

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