Soil and dredging that is used in the construction of roads and dikes and the shallowing of puddles, may contain ‘sporadic’ plastic from 2019 onwards. That is what State Secretary Van Veldhoven writes in a letter to the House of Representatives.
At the construction of roads, earth and dredging sludge (sludge that has been mixed with stones and waste) is now used, which may contain no more than 20 per cent ‘soil-alien’ material. That includes plastic.
Zero percent plastic is not feasible, because plastics will only decay very slowly. That is why the standard is used ‘sporadically’. The cleaner soil and dredging sludge must also be used to reduce the nature of natural waters. This is done to give more space to plants and animals on the banks.
The Cabinet also wants to tackle the causes of the plastic soup in the sea. This is caused in part by plastic that comes from rivers. It must be mapped out where the litter flows in rivers and where it accumulates, so that the plastic can be collected and reused. 5 million euros will be available.
State Secretary Van Veldhoven has already announced that disposable plastic is being banned, such as plates, straws and stirring and cotton buds. The business sector must reuse non-natural materials better.
“Plastic has countless useful applications,” says Van Veldhoven, “but it does not belong in the water or the environment, it takes hundreds of years to perish, so this problem does not solve itself.”