Holland gets recycling bins for so-called 'clean' plastics

Amsterdam In a move attracting wide attention from environmentalists, the small town of Halderberge was Wednesday to become the first in the Netherlands to collect and recycle small plastic bottles, tubes and containers. Consumers in the North-Brabant province town have been invited to deposit plastic bottles and other "clean" plastics - toothpaste tubes, small plastic cold drink bottles and cosmetics containers - at special recycling bins placed in several neighbourhoods.

Over the next two months, 20 other municipalities are expected to follow suit, among them, Nijmegen, Arnhem, Soest, Zeist and Harderwijk.

By the end of the year, Holland hopes to collect clean plastics in most of the country. The country has a well-established tradition of recycling various types of glass and paper and special recycling bins, but to date no recycling bins for so-called 'clean' plastics have been used.

The plastics are to be recycled into new plastics and packaging material, as well as car dash boards, golf balls or fleece fabric used for clothing.

The project was initiated and being coordinated by the Nedvang Foundation, which has been tasked with collecting plastics and packaging material on behalf of the Dutch businesses spread over around 200 municipalities.

The foundation has set a collection target of 55 per cent of all plastic bottles smaller than half a litre, and 95 per cent of all bigger bottles, the bulk of which are currently collected by deposit.