German Bundesrat backs ban on SUP products / Up to 30,000 t of foamed polystyrene packaging affected
On 6 November 2020, Germany’s upper house, the Bundesrat, approved legislation to ban certain single-use plastic products in Europe’s biggest economy. This clears the way for the adoption of the EU directive halting the sale of certain single-use plastic items (see of 23.05.2019). According to the plans of the German federal government, the legislation is to be passed by the end of this year, and the regulation is expected to take effect on 3 July 2021. The aim is to manage plastics as a resource more efficiently and halt the careless disposal of litter into the environment.

The ban covers cotton swabs, disposable cutlery and plates, drinking straws, stirring rods and balloon sticks made of plastics as well as takeaway food containers and drinking cups made of EPS and other foamed polystyrene. Products made of so-called oxo-degradable plastics will also be banned in future. These are substances, which, after use, quickly decompose through oxidation into small fragments that can then hardly degrade any further.

Intentional or unintentional breaches of the ban – states are responsible for implementing legislation – will be an administrative offence punishable by a fine of up to EUR 100,000. In an accompanying resolution, the Bundesrat also called on the German government to create incentives for the expansion and employment of multi-use systems in the mail-order business and to support existing projects.
22.000 t straws and disposable cutlery in Germany
According to the German packaging market research association Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung (GVM, Mainz;, some legal uncertainties remain regarding the new regulation and several questions are unanswered. For example, packaging for single-serving ready meals that need to be heated before consumption is exempt from the ban. The 25,000-30,000 t of foamed polystyrene packaging sold in Germany each year will be prohibited under the ban, but other foam plastic packaging available on the market is not affected.

GVM estimates that around 100-200 t/y of EPS cups are used in Germany. Meanwhile, German consumption of to-go cups for hot beverages made of coated paper is around 20,000 t/y.
11.11.2020 [246324-0]
Published on 11.11.2020
Kunststoff-Einwegprodukte: Bundesrat stimmt Verbot zuGerman version of this article...

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