There is no deposit on the famous pink Red Bull, and importers are punished

There is no deposit on the famous pink Red Bull, and importers are punished

Red Bull's yellow, blue, white, red, green, gray and orange energy drinks are sold in the Netherlands. But it's the pink version, which hasn't been released here, that's currently very popular. Including through videos on Instagram and TikTok.

That's how the Dutch made it Influencer Jessie Maya Last month, three videos about the pink drink and her quest to get a can. Each video has been viewed more than a million times.

Inspection checks

But no matter how harmful it is to health – there is a lot of caffeine in energy drinks – it is currently illegal because it is sold in most cases in the Netherlands. Since the cans are brought here from Germany, among other places, by clever dealers, they have no Dutch deposit on them and cannot be returned to the deposit machines.

A spokesperson for the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) told RTL News that it is aware of the issue surrounding the pink boxes.

The spokesman explains: “The importer of cans must ensure that the cans can be returned here.” This can be done by registering the cans with Statiegeld Nederland, after which the Dutch Deposit logo and the new symbol can be affixed to them.

“We are concerned about a better environment”

If this does not happen, the importer is penalized. “And we're tracking that,” the spokesperson says. “Because there is a reason for this arrangement. We are concerned about a better environment, and we want the cans to not end up just garbage.”

Dirk Groot, who cleans up trash daily and is known as Zwerfinator, now sees these pink cans on the street. “This is going in the wrong direction. The companies selling these cans should take responsibility. They should be doing business socially, but now they are benefiting from the hype in an annoying way.”

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“He made a huge mistake.”

One such store that sells pink boxes is Primera, as Groot saw in one of the branches. There are also many offers for pink drinks on Marktplaats and Facebook Marketplace. But the Inspection Authority says that these sellers are not punished. Importers and manufacturers only have to ensure that the cans in the Netherlands are provided with a deposit, so only they can be fined and not the shop owners. “And therein lies the problem,” says Rob Burman of Recycling Netwerk. “This is where lawmakers made a huge mistake.”

The inspectorate penalized Heineken last year because it was still making and marketing cans without a deposit. The penalty was 15 euro cents per can, up to a maximum of one million euros.

Bormann: “The fact that this is happening means that the Netherlands did not arrange the matter properly. The sellers must also be able to take responsibility, so that the inspection can be carried out better and easier.”

A spokesman for Milieu Centraal described it as a “shame” that these cans are now “getting away from the dance”. “This leads to unnecessary waste of raw materials. We have devised a whole system in the Netherlands to issue this circular, and it works. These cans do not end up there, they are simply disposed of and destroyed. This is ultimately at the expense of the environment.”

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