The Belgian company Ecover is launching its first temporary-deposit drive for plastic bottles and cans in Antwerp from 15 to 17 November. The company says its aim is to contribute to the debate on a deposit system and raise awareness on plastic waste. “If we really want plastic not to be seen as waste, we need to give it value,” Ecover said on Thursday in a press release.
According to Ecover, plastic bottles and cans made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) make up 40% of all litter. However, despite all the discussion around plastic litter, the deposit system is not a political priority.
In Flanders, where the issue is most hotly debated, the Government has postponed a decision on introducing a deposit system. Should the system be approved, it would not be introduced before 2023.
“Figures show that a deposit system is the best way to make sure that empty bottles and cans are picked up,” says Inge Luyten, coordinator of the Deposit Alliance, of which Ecover is a member. “It also allows you to reduce the cost of collection (borne by manufacturers – Editor’s note) and improves the recycling of plastics and cans.”
In Antwerp, citizens who bring back plastic bottles and cans to pop-up stores will receive one euro, which they can keep or donate to the Deposit Alliance, along with a bottle of soap liquid.