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February 2003

Token Efforts

If your first purchase on New Year’s Day was a bottle of beer, soda or mineral water, you probably had a nasty shock—an overnight price increase of, in some cases, 25 percent! Perhaps you then remembered hearing about a new refund-tax on disposable drinking containers. In case you are still battling with the details of this statute, this is how it works: all non-returnable bottles and cans made of metal, plastic or glass now have a surcharge. In most cases this is around € 0,25, but the price will depend on the size of the container you have purchased. In order to claim the refund you will either have to hand in a token, or the receipt and the bottle or can, at the same store where you made the original purchase. If this seems inconvenient—try taking back a coke you bought somewhere at night in a motorway service store—remember that many of the details relating to this law have not yet been agreed upon, so, for example, there may be a national system for tokens in future. For more information watch this space. We will keep you updated.

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