2025 too soon for digital deposits on cans and bottles, says waste company

A 2025 deadline for the introduction of a digital deposit system is too early, waste management company OVAM told the Flemish Parliament's environment committee on Wednesday.

Before 2024, the Flemish government wants to decide on a deposit system for bottles and cans in order to comply with the EU's Packaging Waste Directive. This directive requires every EU country to introduce a deposit system by 2029, unless it can collect 90% of plastic bottles and cans by 2027.

The deposit system could be either a traditional system with collection points, or a digital system where the user scans the packaging and bin liners with their smartphone. It would be introduced in 2025.

2025 too early

However, based on a number of pilot projects, OVAM concludes that 2025 is technically feasible, but too early for a digital system. After all, not everyone has a smartphone, the waste management company argues. To be fully inclusive, the digital system should be combined with widely accessible collection points.

Another problem lies on the producer side. "Producers should have time to adapt their lines and logistics," said OVAM's Luc Goeteyn to the committee on Wednesday. "Investments in adapting production lines can only be made once the legal framework is in place."

No insurmountable problems

While the pilot projects did not reveal any insurmountable problems, the use of an app on a smartphone did raise privacy issues. A so-called GEB, a privacy impact assessment, will therefore have to be carried out. The OVAM also recommends that a legal framework be put in place to combat potential fraud.

The OVAM advises the government to sit down with the sector over the next six months to determine the density of collection points and the potential of a system of home scanners.


#FlandersNewsService | A recycling plant in Charleroi. © BELGA PHOTO MATHIEU COLINET


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