PLASTIC PACKAGING GERMANY
Draft law calls for processors to pay for disposal of throwaway products / Packaging group claims proposal flouts EU regs
Manufacturers of disposable plastic goods such as beverage cups or to-go food containers could be forced to contribute to the disposal of their products found in public spaces in Germany through government clean-up funds into which distributors of such products would pay, according to a draft law published by the country’s Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV, Berlin; www.bmuv.de).

The implementation period for the draft of the country’s Single-Use Plastics (SUP) Fund Act is scheduled to end on 5 January 2023.

According to Article 8 of the EU’s Single-Use Plastics Directive (2019/904/EU), distributors of SUP items are required to bear certain costs for the collection and disposal of waste arising from their products in public spaces as part of extended producer responsibility. A report by the German Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) says these costs amounted to around EUR 700 mn in Germany in 2020.
Fee scheme still unknown
It remains unclear exactly how these costs will be passed on to manufacturers. Going forward, however, producers will have to report the type and quantity of single-use plastic goods they place on the market to Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA, Dessau; www.uba.de) once a year. The authority is also responsible for the administration of the littering fund.

Related: The Netherlands bans disposable plastic cups, to-go food packaging

Meanwhile, the German plastics packaging association Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen (IK, Bad Homburg; www.kunststoffverpackungen.de) criticised the proposal: “The current draft is not suitable for implementing the European requirements in a directive-compliant, constitutional and efficient manner,” the group said in a statement. It added that the EU requirements are aimed at a private-sector solution in the context of the manufacturers’ product responsibility. The public fund model now presented would make Germany the only country in the EU that relies on a state distribution mechanism.

The association noted that for implementation in Germany that conforms with Article 8 of the EU directive, it would be necessary that a SUP commission – in accordance with a concept presented last year by several trade associations – act as a central decision-making body in which manufacturers and municipalities determine both the amount of the contributions to the fund and the amount of the disbursements.
08.04.2022 Plasteurope.com [249985-0]
Published on 08.04.2022
Litteringfonds: Entwurf für Einwegkunststofffondsgesetz vorgelegtGerman version of this article...

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