The system in Bredene was simple: as a consumer, you paid 20 eurocent extra for your drink in a plastic bottle or metal can, but you got this money back after returning the litter. The project ran in three beach bars during the busiest weeks of the summer. Many other countries have such a deposit already, but Belgium failed to introduce one so far.
Michel is the manager of one of the beach bars. "My greatest fear was that people would buy less, because life is expensive as it is. But that was no problem. There were no negative remarks, for me this project is a very positive one," he told VRT NWS.
Preliminary results show that 90 percent of the cans and bottles are being returned. But this doesn't mean that the other 10 percent is littering the beach and the environment. "It's probably people who just didn't return it, and took it in their car or to the household bin. We did not see any litter with the deposit sticker on the beach", says Kelly Spillier, the Bredene Alderwoman for the Environment.
Spillier hopes that the Flemish government will wait no longer to introduce the return deposit system across Flanders.