Over 40 percent of ‘statiegeld’ plastic bottles aren’t recycled

Over 40 percent of ‘statiegeld’ plastic bottles aren’t recycled

According to recent data, the introduction of a 15-cent deposit on 500-millilitre plastic bottles in 2021 hasn’t proven entirely successful, with around 42 percent of these statiegeld bottles ending up in the bin instead of at the collection points across the Netherlands

The Netherlands threw away millions of plastic bottles last year

While the Dutch government had hoped that expanding the statiegeld system would encourage recycling and reduce plastic waste, a high number of small plastic bottles are still ending up in the bin. Data shows that, in 2022, only around 58 percent of small plastic bottles were returned at one of the thousands of collection points across the country. 

This means that of the 1 billion plastic bottles that were bought last year, more than 1 million were thrown away every day - shocking, although the Packaging Waste Fund notes that the “number of small bottles in litter” fell by 51 percent between 2020 and 2022. When looking at all statiegeld plastic bottles, the figures show that 68 percent were handed in at collection points last year.

Dutch Packaging Waste Fund says more must be done

While the Packaging Waste Fund is encouraged by the fact that many members of the public are making an effort to recycle more and have been quick to change their habits since the introduction of these deposits, the organisation says more must be done. 

“91 percent of all Dutch people are familiar with the 15 cent deposit on small plastic bottles. That's nice, but needs to be improved,” says Hester Klein Lankhorst, director of the Fund. “Extra communication, the constant repetition of the message and the expansion of collection points should further positively influence the return behaviour.”

Thumb image credit: Pazargic Liviu /

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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