The public prosecution department has started a criminal investigation into brewing group Heineken for continuing to use cans that did not qualify for the deposit system after the deadline date.

The department has confirmed the probe but declined to give any more details, website reported.

Fifteen cent deposits on cans were introduced on April 1 and drinks companies were not allowed to send any cans to shops without a deposit bar code from then on. But Heineken continued to do so, saying it was taking advantage of a three-month changeover period.

In addition, the brewing giant said it did not want to waste any cans or cardboard. 

Government inspectors, however, told the company there was no transition period and ordered it to stop or face a €1 million fine, at which point the brewing group complied. 

In the meantime, however, recycling campaign group Recycling Netwerk Benelux had made a formal complaint against the brewer, accusing it of “very calculating behaviour” and putting its own interests above that of society at large. 

Heineken told the AD it was confident about the results of the inquiry which is said could be considered “an opportunity to clarify the confusion”. 

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