Netherlands expands DRS to include beverage cans

The Netherlands expanded the scope of its deposit return system for drink container recycling from April 1 to now include aluminium and steel drink cans. 

The Dutch government also expanded the system in 2021 from covering only large plastic bottles, to also include small plastic bottles.

Although the Dutch deposit return system has so far focused on plastic drink containers, it has also been estimated that 150 million beverage cans end up in the environment every year in the Netherlands. 

After the number of aluminium cans in the environment increased by 27% in 2020, the decision was made by the Dutch government to introduce a deposit on cans. 

A deposit is added to the price of eligible drink containers and is fully refunded to recyclers when they return the empties at collection points across the country for recycling.

Rene Hissink, Senior VP Western and Southern Europe, TOMRA Collection, said: “The expansion of the Netherlands’ deposit return system to aluminium cans means a new type of material will enter the loop and be able to be returned to the circular economy using appropriate recycling processes. As a result, the Dutch circular economy as a whole will see a boost.

TOMRA is the world’s leading provider of reverse vending machines, where consumers return drink containers for recycling in deposit return systems. TOMRA’s reverse vending technology is capable of accepting all types and materials of drink containers.

Eligible cans will have a deposit of 0.15 EUR. Mandatory collection points are supermarkets that are larger than 200 square meters and staffed petrol stations along the highway. 

Other locations, such as cinemas and sports clubs, can register with Statiegeld Nederland as voluntary collection points.

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