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“Deposit system for plastic bottles and cans on the way”

Flemish environment minister Zuhal Demir (nationalist) says a deposit system for plastic bottles and cans is unavoidable. The minister is working on the introduction of a system in consultation with her counterparts in Brussels and Wallonia. Charging a deposit is seen as the only way of preventing such waste from ending up in the environment.

“It’s going from bad to worse.  It’s unbelievable what ends up in the environment.  We possess a cleanliness index that shows how clean Flanders is.  I’ll see the new figures in the fall and it doesn’t look good”.

Ms Demir points to the large number of administrative fines issued last summer, the work of “Mooimakers”, people who collect dumped waste and the 100 million euros the government spends of cleaning up waste in the environment.  Despite all these efforts the picture remains poor.

The government accord set a target of reducing waste dumped in the environment by 20%.  It was agreed that if that can’t be achieved easily the introduction of a deposit system for cans and plastic bottles would be introduced.

Some countries charge a 25-cent deposit on plastic bottles and cans.  When the packaging is returned so is the deposit.  Abroad the system has led to a 20% drop in waste dumped in the environment.  

The new deposit system will be introduced in 2025 at the earliest.

Stad Gent

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