Conclusions on the study about donation bins for deposit bottles

First of all, we would like to thank the students that participated in the study about donation bins for deposit bottles! Thanks to your input, we got a better picture of the awareness and experiences with the donation bins and what possible areas for improvement exist. 110 panelists from the Leiden University Panel participated in this survey. As of summer 2021, there applies a deposit for small deposit bottles in the Netherlands. Leiden University offers the opportunity to collect such bottles in donation bins at its various horeca facilities. The revenue of the bins is donated to the Plastic Soup Foundation. Currently, in addition to plastic bottles, a lot of regular trash disappears into the donation bins. This study provides insight into the familiarity with and experience of the donation bins and what possible areas of improvement students see to combat the disruption of the waste stream.

Summary of the results

Awareness of the donation bins among panelists is limited. Half of the panelists are not familiar with the donation bins at Leiden University. However, most panelists do think the donation bins are a good initiative and for a good cause.

A fair number of panelists indicated that they (almost) never have an empty deposit bottle. If they do have one they return it themselves for deposit. Of the panelists familiar with the bins, two-fifths have sometimes donated a deposit bottle. A few always donate their deposit bottle whenever they have one. In addition, several panelists who were not yet familiar with the donation bins indicated they would use them in the future (67%).

Reasons cited for not using the donation bins are lack of clarity about the charity and not getting the deposit back. On the contrary, supporting a good cause acts as an incentive for other panelists to use the bins.

The information wrapper on the bin is clear according to 60% of the panelists. Yet there is also a lack of clarity about what exactly is allowed in the bin. This, and not wanting to detour, are the most expected reasons why other students throw trash in the donation bins.


The study shows that clarifying the design, optimizing the placement and placing other trash bins near the donation bins can help reduce waste in the donation bins. Curently, we are working to maken improvements.

We are very happy with all the tips and we are looking in to the possibilities.