Over half of Belgian communes - 307 of 581 - are now in favour of a deposit scheme for cans and plastic bottles, according to the organisation behind the campaign, the Statiegeld Alliantie.
A press release on Monday revealed a significant rise in support, with over 100 communes joining the Alliance since mid-March. The total figure is composed of 101 towns and communes in Wallonia, 203 in Flandres, and three in Brussels. The Alliance is also supported by agricultural, environmental, and consumer organisations including Fugea and Test Achats.
Interest in a scheme is gaining traction among the general public, with the Union of Towns and Communes in Wallonia (UVCW) calling on Walloon Environment Minister Céline Tellier (Ecolo) to push for it's creation. Numerous environmental and agricultural groups signed an open letter in August 2020, published by Le Soir, calling for the scheme to be put in place.
"The Walloon government forecast such a scheme in it's proposals two years ago. We hope that it will hear our call and pass legislation for the deposit scheme," the Alliance stated and addressed the same call to Flemish and Walloon governments.
They continued by highlighting the various advantages of such a scheme: "Our streets and countryside will be cleaner, livestock will be less at risk, and we will save on litter-picking costs. Yes We Can to plastic bottle and cans deposits!"
Eight EU countries have long-standing deposit schemes in place, whilst eight others have created or enlarged their schemes in the last four years. The creation of a scheme for small plastic bottles in the Netherlands on 1 July fuelled the discussion in Belgium.
The Brussels Times