Environment minister in discussion with fireworks industry on plastic

Amsterdam, 16 December 2019 – Stientje van Veldhoven, Minister of the Environment and Housing, talks with the fireworks industry to reduce plastic in fireworks. Pieces of plastic from fireworks are found everywhere. After the Hema, Albert Heijn also stops selling fireballs, which can be lit all year round.

The minister responds to a motion by Member of Parliament Suzanne Kröger (GroenLinks). In it, the government is asked to investigate, together with the fireworks industry, how the use of plastic in fireworks can be prevented. After fireworks with plastic have been set off, the plastic ends up irrevocably on the street. In its motion, Kröger points out that the sale of fireworks with plastic is not in accordance with the implementation of the so-called SUP Directive of the European Union.

Hema removes crackling balls from the shelves

Knetterballs can be fired all year round. Remains of this children’s firework are immediately recognizable: brightly colored or black semi-circular caps made of hard plastic. Hema removes them from the shelves after the Plastic Soup Surfer (Merijn Tinga) and the Zwerfinator (Dirk Groot) have had a conversation with the management. According to the Hema, stopping the sale fits in with the policy not to sell plastic for single-use anymore. Lidl and Aldi are taking similar steps. Albert Heijn promised Tinga and Groot on Friday 13 December to take the crackling balls off the shelves with immediate effect.

In the Netherlands, all supermarket chains signed the Plastic Pact at the beginning of 2019 and promised to reduce the use of plastic, but producers of fireworks are not a party to this agreement.

Nevertheless, to the court

In order to increase the pressure on fireworks sellers, Tinga and Groot are not waiting for the outcome of consultation between the government and the fireworks industry. They will go to court early next year to enforce a ban on fireworks with plastic. A group of stray waste disposal companies has been photographing the remains for months now. In the campaign Operation crackling ball #knetterball, the Plastic Soup Surfer calls on everyone to send pictures and he has already received more than 25,000 pictures. All those photos serve as a piece of evidence in the announced trial.

Photo: Zwerfinator