Monday, April 20, 2009

Belgian Plastic Drinks Bottles are Worth 25c. in Holland

When I bought some Fanta Cassis bottles in a Dutch supermarket last week, I noticed that I had been charged 25 cents "statiegeld" per bottle ie recycling deposit. I told my son who asked whether we could take our bottles bought in Belgian supermarkets back to Dutch supermarkets and receive 25 cents per bottle. I told him that I doubted it as there must be a different barcode on products for sale in different countries.

Well I have just read on the online site of Het Belang van Limburg newspaper that indeed Belgians are taking their plastic empties back to Dutch shops and earning 25 cents on each bottle, particularly in the border towns of Luyksgestel, Budel, Stramproy, Weert and Stein. Apparently, the barcode readers cannot distinguish between bottles bought in Belgium or Holland. Some enterprising individuals are even collecting empties from the street, rubbish bins or neighbours, even advertising in the local paper.

The Dutch supermarkets have responded to say that they are looking out for any Belgians with large quantities of plastic bottles and will refuse the entire load. While some supermarkets consider this practice dishonest, Plus Daams in Budel-Schoot welcomes the Belgians as they realise that they will probably do some shopping in the store while they are there and, in any case, they are refunded by Stichting Retourverpakking.

Source: Het Belang Van Limburg - "Belgische petfles in Nederland 25 cent waard".

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

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