The Brussels region should follow the example of Flanders, with a deposit on the use of plastic containers for water, soft drinks and the like, according to regional secretary of state Bianca Debaets (CD&V). Last week Flemish environment minister Joke Schauvliege announced her intention to intriduce a deposit of 25c on cans and plastic bottles – two and a half times more than the conventional 10c deposit on glass bottles. The measure is aimed at increasing the recycling of aluminium and plastic containers, but the retail industry is against the idea, claiming that small shopkeepers will not be able to collect and store the returned containers, which ought to be the responsibility of the customer.
For Debaets (photo), however, the Flemish initiative gives the momentum needed to make a difference in Brussels as well. “A deposit,” she told Bruzz, “will drastically reduce the rubbish left behind on the streets of Brussels. Flanders has its plans in place; Brussels ought to follow suit.”
Surveys have shown that street rubbish is a major concern of the city’s residents. “Our bin-men and street-sweepers do what they can, and fines for fly-tipping have gone up sibstantially in recent years. But it’s not enough. We need to tackle the problem of rubbish from various angles.”
The existing blue bag for PMD waste would then become, she proposed, a means of recycling plastic containers not currently included in the collection, such as shampoo bottles, butter cartons and other containers.
The Brussels Times