Customers to pay extra for plastic packaging, Dutch government announces
As part of a plan that should hopefully limit the use of single-use plastic in the Netherlands, the Dutch government has revealed that, from July 1, 2023, customers will be required to pay extra for takeaway packaging.
Dutch government announces ban on free supply of plastic packaging
The crux of the government’s plan is to differentiate between food and drink consumed on-site in cafes, restaurants, and cafeterias, and anything ordered to take away. Currently, customers don’t face any additional costs when buying food and drink to-go, but could see their bill decrease slightly if, for example, they opt to use their own cup instead of a plastic takeaway one.
That's set to change from July 2023, in the hopes that new, tougher rules on packaging could limit the use of single-use plastics in the Dutch catering and hospitality industry. Starting next summer, 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.”
How much customers will be required to pay is up to business owners and companies, and the ban won’t apply to any packaging that is made of 100 percent paper. The government is also introducing new rules for office spaces and canteens which should further encourage the use of reusable eating utensils: “For on-site consumption, reusable crockery will be the standard from 2024.” Only healthcare institutions like hospitals will be exempt from this rule.
The Netherlands works to significantly reduce use of single-use plastic
“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 measures fall under the European Single-Use Plastics Directive, as agreed upon by all EU member states last summer. This announcement comes just weeks after a survey revealed that 71 percent of people in the Netherlands want the government to ban single-use plastics.
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