Deposit Return System

The first deposit system was introduced in Dublin more than 200 years ago. So it is far from new. Additional value is given to the packaging, which acts as an incentive for consumers to return it to the store, from where it can be recycled or reused. This system has proven to reduce litter and increase the consistency of high-quality recycling and separate collection. Every reason for us to make this the standard!

Deposit – what exactly are we talking about?

Deposit, an environmental measure embraced in more and more countries. It is a powerful tool to reduce packaging and litter, promote recycling and encourage the switch to reuse. The formula is simple: you pay a deposit for your drink when you buy it and get it back when you return the package to the store. It is convenient for consumers, prevents litter and saves resources. A no-brainer, right?


Although the Netherlands has had a deposit system in place for large plastic bottles for nearly a decade, extending deposits to small plastic bottles and cans has met with strong industry resistance. Nonetheless, it did work out: since July 2021 there has been a deposit on plastic bottles and from April 2023 on cans as well. Fair Resource Foundation actively contributed to this environmental success. The positive impact on reducing litter was immediate. We are currently working to further optimize the system so that it can provide the same benefits as in other countries where the deposit system has already proved successful.


In Belgium, there is currently a voluntary deposit on reusable glass bottles, such as beer, but no system yet in place for plastic bottles and cans. Historically, the Belgian industry has opposed the introduction of deposits on these packaging materials. Fortunately, regional governments, supported by our efforts, have paved the way for this important environmental measure. Although the final decision is still pending, support for deposits is growing steadily. Therefore, we are joining forces with consumer organizations, environmental NGOs and farmer organizations to get this system implemented nationwide.

deposit alliance

The Deposit Alliance has been fighting for the introduction of a deposit system in both the Netherlands and Belgium since 2018. Fair Resource Foundation was one of the initiators. Since then, more than 1,300 partners have joined, including cities and municipalities, banks,
companies, farmer and consumer organizations and NGOs. Since 2020, the Deposit Alliance has been actively campaigning for deposits with its “Deposit, Yes We Can!” campaign.

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About Deposit Money


Announcement of a Deposit in 2025: watch out for delaying manoeuvres

Environmental organisation Recycling Netwerk Benelux supports the Flemish government’s intention to have a working deposit system in place, in consultation with the two other regions, by 2025. The plan is to introduce a deposit of 20 to 25 eurocents on all plastic bottles and cans up to 3 litres. However, the Flemish government’s choice to first give industry the option to experiment with a scan-system in 2023 (where consumers have

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The race towards Deposit Return Systems

Last modified: February 2024. More and more governments in Europe are deciding to introduce deposits on cans and plastic bottles. The pace has accelerated since the approval of the European directive on single-use plastics in 2019. The Single Use Plastic Directive (SUPD) stipulates that all plastic bottles must contain at least 25% recycled content by 2025, and that member states must collect 90% of plastic bottles separately by 2029. One Member State

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