The undersigned request the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region to introduce a deposit system for PET cans and bottles.
Why? This system would allow a dramatic reduction in the quantity of wild waste that is harmful to biodiversity and expensive to collect, a better quality of sorting and better recycling of waste. Recycling well-sorted materials also leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions. The time has come to take the circularity of our economy one step further.
Does it work? Around ten European countries have already implemented a deposit system for plastic cans and bottles with good results. A GfK survey of 5134 respondents shows that 82% of Belgians are a priori in favour of the introduction of this system. The Government of the Brussels-Capital Region has committed itself to this in its majority agreement.
Why is it blocking? Despite the proven environmental benefits of a deposit system, it seems that the initiative is slow to be implemented. The arguments against it essentially concern the economic cost and the efficiency of the current sorting system (the "blue bag" PMD). While it is true that a functional deposit system needs to be considered so as not to impose additional costs on consumers and retailers, we draw the attention of Members of Parliament to the fact that these arguments are put forward by industry and waste collection companies who have an interest in the status quo. We hereby wish to bring the subject to the Brussels Parliament so that a democratic debate can take place, and so that the citizen's interest in a clean and circular city prevails over the interests of the actors in place. Furthermore, although a test phase in twenty-four municipalities in the Walloon Region is indeed underway, it is nevertheless being organised in particular by Fost Plus, a company openly opposed to the introduction of a deposit system.
We no longer have time to wait, the transition towards sustainable consumption patterns must accelerate: it is maintaining our current lifestyles that will be the most costly in the long term. For a clean, sustainable and circular Brussels, for a deposit on PET cans and bottles!
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Who are we ?
The Collective for the Brussels deposit system is made up of around twenty young people from Brussels ! None of them are affiliated to a political party.
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What public authority is this petition addressed to? What is a petition? Why isn’t a simple click sufficient?
This petition is addressed to the Brussels Parliament, which must give an answer within six months of its receipt at the latest. In addition, if the petition receives at least 1,000 valid signatures (surname, first name, legal domicile, date of birth, signature), its author(s) must be heard by the Parliament.
Online petitions (e.g. via change.org) are very useful, but they do not meet the legal identification requirements to be validly considered by public institutions. This is why we require your electronic or physical signature!
A petition is a direct democracy process whereby an individual or a group of individuals sends a written statement to a public authority in which the petitioner(s) express(s) an opinion on a particular issue or theme of general interest.
Where can I find more information? What is the link between deposit and litter?
The website of the alliance de la consigne (“Deposit Alliance”) clearly summarises many of the arguments in favour of a global deposit system. This FAQ contains only very partial information!
In studies conducted abroad, it was shown that a deposit system reduces the proportion of beverage packaging in the volume of litter. However, calculation methodologies differ and the assessed impact varies from "slightly" to "-83%". In Belgium, cans account for one third of the weight of litter. This is problematic: they are a visual nuisance and are harmful to the environment. Indeed, the oxidation of cans acidifies running water and renders it eutrophic. Moreover, plastics are sometimes ingested by animals and/or decompose into micro-plastics. The latter infiltrate hydrological systems, end up in our land, our streams and ultimately add to the plastic soup in the oceans
What is the link between a deposit system and CO2 emissions?
The production of aluminium or steel is very energy-intensive. Better recycling makes it possible to reduce this production, or even to stop it altogether in the case of steel cans: what is recycled is not produced! The same reasoning goes for plastic, even if — unlike aluminium — it loses quality with each recycling.
Collecting P.E.T. cans and bottles, does it really work?
More and more countries in Europe opt for a deposit system. In the European Union alone, 115 million people have access to this system.
The maps on this website show where deposit systems have been introduced (green) and where public authorities voiced the intention to introduce them in the coming years (orange).
What happens to the blue bag?
Blue bags (referred to as “PMC” bags, for Plastic-Metal-Cardboard) will still contain the following: cans, shampoo bottles and beer capsules or other metal caps. If you’re not sure whether to throw something in, check this website.
Who is against and who is in favour of this system in Belgium?
The principle of introducing a deposit system on P.E.T. cans and bottles can be found in the majority agreement of the Brussels and Walloon governments. An official petition is open in the Walloon Region. In addition to the partners of the Alliance de la Consigne, several Brussels municipalities have already spoken out in favour of introducing this system in Brussels (Saint-Gilles, Koekelberg and Jette). The network of "cleanliness ambassadors" also published an open letter on this subject on 17 August 2020.
The following actors have openly spoken out against the introduction of a deposit system, notably in 2015: Fostplus, Fevia, Comeos and Unizo. Their main arguments can be found in this press release.