Here are the three models of deposits for cans and plastic bottles

The facilitator appointed by the Tellier firm to enable the project to set up a deposit mechanism for cans and bottles of water, Luc Wittebolle details the three models proposed. It should be noted that the last two presented take into account the fact that there is already a system of blue garbage bags throughout the territory through which cans and plastic bottles are already collected. “The blue bag system is one of the reasons that currently hinders the establishment of a deposit. It must be said that the blue bags are very useful except for on-the-go consumption”explains Céline Tellier (green), the Walloon Minister of the Environment.

Deposits for cans and plastic bottles? Yes, but on a Belgian scale

1. The classic locker

The mechanism is simple, it is the same as for returnable glass bottles. “It is a physical locker. When you buy a can or a plastic bottle, you pay the deposit. When they are brought back, they are recovered via a ticket which allows you to obtain a reduction on your purchases, as is the case for glass bottles recorded in supermarkets. Or, we can directly recover the amount paid for the deposit”, explains Luc Wittebolle. You should know that in Germany, it is a system of this type that is used. There are machines in large shops to collect cans. In small businesses that do not have the financial means to purchase these machines, “there is a collection bag”. This mechanism actually takes the plastic cans and bottles out of the collection for recycling via the blue bags.

2. The digital or digital setpoint

In this model,the value of the deposit is also included in the purchase price. However, in this case, it is necessary to scan the can or the bottle at the time of purchase via a QR code system”, explains Luc Wittebolle. Here, we therefore take into account the blue bags. “When throwing the empty can or bottle into the bag, we scan it again”. And the money is paid into your account. The question of on-the-go consumption – someone who buys a can via a distributor on the street, in a small shop or elsewhere and who will not take it home – is settled via a system of collection bins, for example. “It is therefore a question of setting up additional infrastructures”. It should be noted that no country has, for the moment, recourse to this system. Here, in particular, questions related to the GDPR arise. You should also know that some people do not have an account number.

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3. The deposit via the intervention of a third party

In this third model, deconsignment is done directly “in the sorting center. The buyer is identified via a unique code and when he throws his can or bottle into his blue bag, he does not have to scan anything. Everything is done when the blue bags are emptied to be sorted. At that time, his bank account linked to his account is credited”. The question that arises here is how to possibly anonymize the code received by consumers.

It should be noted that another solution was analyzed but it was not retained “for the moment”, says Céline Tellier. This is to ban single-use packaging. “I think one day it will happen, because it’s the logical path. But we have to take into account the way we live now. Of course, we are trying to encourage at other levels, among producers, consumption that would be less and less linked to single-use packaging”she explains.

As for the question of the amount of the future deposit, nothing has yet been specified either. “The bet that is made is that people who throw their waste in nature are encouraged not to do so anymore. We can also vary the amount depending on the size of the package”, insists Tellier. “In Germany the amount of the deposit is 25 cents, in other countries it even reaches 50 cents”concludes Luc Wittebolle.

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