Ecover, a Belgian producer of ecological cleaning products, is opening a store in Antwerp where customers will receive cash in return for empty plastic bottles. The company wants to revive the discussion about deposits on such bottles.
The brand wants to encourage consumers to throw away less plastic, by making them realise that plastic is still valuable after use. Ecover puts a figure on that value of one euro plus a bottle of its own dish-washing liquid (of course already made from 100 % recycled plastic) per plastic bottle. "We are calling on everyone to come and hand over their plastic bottles to prove that deposits indeed work, as other countries have already amply proven," says innovation manager Tom Domen. The theme remains important: plastic bottles and cans are currently responsible for 40 % of the total volume of litter, the brand says in a press release.
Ecover wants to make a strong statement to the government: "If you want plastic not to be considered as waste, you have to give it value: a deposit," says Domen. The pop-up store is the first in Belgium to introduce a deposit system for plastic bottles and is open from 15 to 17 November. In addition to the store itself, there will be an exhibition "Trash to Treasure", workshops on upcycling and a debate about the delicate theme.
Ecover was founded in 1979 and is now one of the largest European producers of ecological cleaning products. At its European production site near Antwerp, the company produces detergents and cleaning products based on vegetable raw materials and minerals. By 2020, all packaging should be made from 100 % recycled plastic. Last year the brand was acquired by American cleaning giant SC Johnson, the manufacturer of brands such as Bayon and Brise.