Deposits for cans: save money on waste

Since 1 April 2023, there is a deposit on most aluminium drinks cans. Supermarkets are required to accept cans, but other entrepreneurs can sign up to be a collection point. Why would you? Well, it can help you save money on waste disposal costs, it prevents littering, and it supports good causes.

According to Stientje van Veldhoven, former State Secretary of Infrastructure and Water Management, around 150 million cans pollute the environment in the Netherlands every year. “Animals can get hurt by the cans in nature. The deposit on aluminium cans makes that a thing of the past”, says Van Veldhoven. When you buy a can of water, soft drink, beer or Radler, you pay an extra 15 cents as a deposit. Supermarkets are required to collect empty cans and plastic bottles for recycling. Other entrepreneurs can also volunteer to collect cans and bottles.

Save on waste costs

Placing a collection bin for cans and bottles in your business takes up some space, but it can also save you money on your waste disposal costs. “Cans and bottles disposed of by customers take up a lot of space in your waste bin”, says Misja Janvier, Communications Project Leader at Statiegeld Nederland, the organisation that implements the government’s recycling deposit policy. “You are basically paying your waste collector for empty air.” Does your company use a container to collect waste? Then there is a good chance that you can switch to using a smaller container if you separate cans and plastic. You can make agreements with your drinks supplier for the collection of those cans and bottles.

Support good causes

You are not required to pay your customers the deposit money, unless your business is a supermarket or a petrol station along the motorway. “For many entrepreneurs, it is almost impossible to pay the deposit for cans and bottles”, explains Janvier. “Take a cafe or restaurant with peak business between 12:00 and 14:00, for example. They are far too busy to pay a refund of 15 cents to every guest.”

Instead, you can choose to donate the income from the collected cans and bottles to a charity or other good cause via Statiegeld Nederland (in Dutch). “The empty cans and bottles are recycled, and the entrepreneur can choose which good cause gets the money.” All certified good causes (in Dutch) are eligible for the refund. Choose a charity that suits your company’s mission. When you sign up as a collection point, you can tell Statiegeld Nederland about your choice and you will receive labels for the collection bags. That will make it clear which bags come from your company throughout the recycling process, and the donation will be paid to the right charity. You may not keep the deposits for yourself.

Help prevent littering

A collection bin for cans and plastic bottles shows your customers that sustainability is important to you. It also keeps the area around your business cleaner, which is good for your image.

Deposits help reduce littering

Since the summer of 2021, consumers have paid a deposit when they buy small plastic bottles. “Since the introduction of the deposit, litter from small plastic bottles has been reduced by 76%”, explains self-appointed Zwerfinator Dirk Groot (in Dutch). As a litter researcher, he collects information about litter and advises companies and governments about how they can help reduce litter. Groot expects that the percentage of cans in litter will decrease dramatically.

Sign up today

Are you convinced of the benefits of collecting cans and plastic bottles? Then sign up your company (in Dutch) as a collection point for Statiegeld Nederland.