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Plastic refuse being recycled into usable raw material
Plastic refuse being recycled into usable raw material

In a circular economy, products and raw materials are reused over and over again. Both the European Commission and the Dutch cabinet want to stimulate the circular economy. In 2015, the European Commission presented its circular economy package to this end. In 2017, the national commodities arrangement was agreed on, and before this summer the cabinet will comment on the five additional plans that were presented early in 2018. One of these relates to the plastics agenda.

Plastics and deposit money

An increasing number of municipalities, manufacturers and other organisations are calling for a deposit scheme on plastic bottles and cans, because the current waste collection scheme makes usable plastic unsuitable for recycling into PET bottles. Most aluminium cans still end up in incinerators. Properly collected, however, they can be recycled into new cans. Moreover, research has shown that 40% of street litter consists of plastic bottles and (aluminium) cans. Europe is also working on a reduction of plastics and it stimulates the recycling of it. The EU plastics strategy stipulates that all plastics packaging should be recyclable by 2030.

Deposit money to be introduced as of 2021, unless ...

On Saturday, 10 March 2018, state secretary Van Veldhoven announced that a deposit on small plastic bottles will be introduced in 2021, unless the packaging industry manages to reuse 90% of the throw-away bottles within two years from now. She also wants the packaging sector to reduce street litter by 70 to 90%.

Awarding cleanliness

Municipalities  cooperate with schools and other social organisations on the reduction of street litter in a project called "Awarding cleanliness". The evaluation of this project is on the agenda of the committee meeting.