Organisation - January 28, 2016

Deposit scheme study slipshod

Koen Guiking

A 2012 Wageningen study of the costs of the deposit scheme for PET bottles was sloppy, according to Wageningen UR’s Committee for Academic Integrity (CWI). This was reported in Trouw newspaper, based on a leaked report.

Inname statiegeldflessen

Photo: FaceMePLS

The committee received 14 complaints about the study by Food & Biobased Research. There are grounds for one of the complaints: that the researchers should have scientifically verified the figures on waste that companies gave them.

Using these figures, the researchers came up with high estimates of the costs of the deposit system, which their clients - the companies – passed on to government with the aim of getting the deposit system scrapped. Supporters of the system did not trust the costs estimate and submitted a complaint to the CWI. The committee concludes now that the researchers have not breached academic integrity but were lax.

The committee’s report has not been published yet, says Wageningen UR spokesperson Simon Vink. He suspects one of the critics sent the draft statement to Trouw.