Customers to pay extra for plastic packaging in the Netherlands – What is the solution?

Dutch government announces ban on free supply of plastic packaging

From 1st July 2023, tougher rules on packaging could limit the use of single-use plastics in the Dutch catering and hospitality industry. The government will enforce a ban on “the free supply of disposable plastic cups and food packaging for single use.” This means customers will be required to pay for packaging “in addition to the price of the drink or meal.”

“Every day, in the Netherlands alone, we throw away 19 million plastic cups and food packaging, after just one use,” State Secretary for Environment Vivianne Heijnen told the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) on Tuesday. “We should not continue to burden future generations with this. A turnaround is needed from disposable to reusable.”

The new guidelines suggest charging customers €0.25 for a disposable plastic cup, €0.50 for a disposable plastic food container (possibly including several boxes), and €0.05 for smaller plastic containers, those used for toppings and sauces. Moreover, starting on 1 January 2024, more measures are to be set in place, such as mandatory reusable tableware in restaurants, cafes and hotels. From 2025 onwards, all PET bottles must contain at least 25% recycled plastic, and at least 30% by 2030.

These are additional regulations to the ones already enforced in recent years, like fishermen having to collect a minimum 23% of fishing gear waste from the ocean; plastic producers having to pay to clean up the waste produced by their products; and a deposit of €0.15 on small plastic bottles and cans, among others.

(Written by Juan Álvarez Umbarila)


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