Flemings to make fast buck with Brussels drinks deposits?


The new government accords for regional governments in Brussels and Wallonia promise the introduction of a deposit system for drinks receptacles.  In Flanders it’s unclear what’s going to happen.  Could we be heading for a situation in which Flemings will be able to take their drinks receptacles to Brussels and Wallonia and retrieve a deposit they never paid?

“It sounds absurd” says Olivier Beys of the Flemish environmental organisation BBL.  But could it happen if politicians in Flanders reject a deposit system? Mr Beys predicts that if two different systems apply in the country, the packaging will have to change.  Automats in Brussels and Wallonia will have to be able to recognise drinks packaging sold in Brussels and Wallonia.  Special markers will be required, but different packaging will be more expensive for producers: “It would be more efficient if one system applied to the entire country.  Efficiency and other advantages of scale will be lost.  The wider the system, the cheaper it becomes”.

Olivier Beys forecasts that Flanders can hardly operate as an island if you look at developments in surrounding countries.  There is also new European legislation on the way on plastics: “90 has to be selectively collected.  It’s something you can only do with a deposit system.”

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