Deposit money to can street litter

15th December 2005, Comments 0 comments

15 December 2005, AMSTERDAM — Junior Environment minister Pieter van Geel has given local councils and businesses a last opportunity to come up with a solution for the growing mountains of litter on streets.

15 December 2005

AMSTERDAM — Junior Environment minister Pieter van Geel has given local councils and businesses a last opportunity to come up with a solution for the growing mountains of litter on streets.

Van Geel told Parliament on Thursday that he will impose statiegeld (a returnable deposit) on soft drink cans and plastic bottles if another solution is not forthcoming by 1 March next year.

Research has found that the reduction targets set between the Environment Ministry and the soft drink and other industries will not be achieved this year.

A campaign to collect plastic bottles in schools has failed, Van Geel wrote in his letter to MPs. The aim was to cut the number of empty plastic bottles by 55 percent. "The average achieved was between 11 and 20 percent," the minister wrote.

Van Geel said another disappointment was that the negotiations between the business community, which wants to end the statiegeld system, and the association of Dutch local authorities (VNG) about the collection of litter broke down.

Local authorities felt that the EUR 50 million a year offered by the business community for the removal of paper, glass and plastic and metal was too low. Van Geel said the VNG demand for 10 times that amount was too much.

Industry and businesses countered the VNG demand by calling for more concerted action by local authorities to clean away litter and penalise litter bugs. But Van Geel said there was a lack of public support for stiff fines to compel people to adhere to the anti-littering laws.

Van Geel called on both sides to renew efforts to reach agreement. He noted that 70 percent of the public, according to a survey, are in favour of a deposit charge on cans and plastic bottles to help cut down on litter.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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