Companies had almost 23 months to prepare for this, but they are not going to make it. Meanwhile, he says, the industry is already working on ways to avoid deposits.
From can to cardboard
He happily points to a cardboard drink package along the train tracks at Purmerend station. “That’s the second thing I’ve seen in 2 days.” This is brand new packaging from the beverage company Riedel, producer of Taksi, Appelsientje and DubbelFris, among others. Less than 2 weeks ago, the company announced the switch to cardboard packages.
Double Freeze and Taxi were first canned. Groot suspects that the change to the other packaging has to do with the arrival of mortgages on cans. “And then add a story as if it’s for the conscious consumer. While packing because there’s a lot of plastic in it is much worse for the environment than, say, plastic bottles with a mortgage. Then it’s actually a step back.”
The fight against waste
Armed with a grip and fishing nets, Groot has been clearing up rubbish for years. He has been able to live off his life as a refrigeration expert for 5 years now. Companies and municipalities hire him for lectures and the statistics he keeps based on his findings. He also gave advice to the House of Representatives when he introduced mortgages on cans.
The delayed introduction of mortgages on cans bothers him. “It’s something very simple. The system already exists in other countries. You just have to copy what they’re doing in Germany, which already has a mortgage on the can. They’s just very difficult.”
Not satisfied with the delay
Groot refers to the companies that make the cans and the Fund for Packaging Waste. The machines in the supermarkets can already recognize cans, all they need is a software change, Groot says.
Minister of the Environment Heijnen is also not satisfied with the postponement of the mortgages. She will keep the industry until the start date of January 1st.
Damaged, dented or flat
An analysis of what Groot has cleaned up since April 1 shows that 55 percent of the cans are damaged, dented or flat. This means that they cannot be returned to the packaging machines.
As with plastic bottles that have had a 15 cent deposit since last year, the cans must also be perfect. “Then you need to find a delicious supermarket where you can take your stack of dented cans,” Groot explains. “Unlike plastic bottles, cans are harder to knead or blow ’round’ again.”
Bypass a deposit
In Germany, a solution has been found to this problem, says the expert. A kind of ink has been put on the cans and bottles that can be ‘read’ by the machines so that they recognize it as packaging with a deposit on it. “So that problem can also be solved easily. If they now spend the extra 3 months on it, I will judge them a little more gently.”
Meanwhile, he encounters more and more special tricks to circumvent deposits. In addition to coffee drinks, wine has recently been sold in sealed cups. “Therefore, there is no mortgage on it and it is not covered by the law that is introduced for disposable cups. So it falls outside all the rules. I already know that I will encounter a lot of cups of this type in the litter. next year.”
Mega bottles and milk drinks
In Germany, since the introduction of mortgages on bottles up to 3 liters, plastic bottles with a volume of 3,001 liters in waste have been found. Dairy drinks enjoy a unique position there. According to Groot, companies are therefore now adding whey to energy drinks. That way, it becomes a dairy product on paper and there is no mortgage on it.
Groot does not know why companies like to avoid deposits. He does not notice in his findings on the street that the higher price tag would drive consumers away from a brand. “Then I would come across many cheap brands. But I like the packaging of expensive A-brands, including many water packaging, which is still more expensive than gasoline at the gas station.”