Manufacturers should pay for plastic waste disposal, says Germany

The German environment ministry wants manufacturers of disposable products to contribute to the costs of keeping cities clean. In a first step, it is launching a study aimed at determining how many fast-food packaging, beverage cups, plastic bags and cigarette filters end up in public waste bins.

The trend towards more disposable items is leading to a “downright garbage flood” in some places, said the German environment minister Svenja Schulze. Until now, the costs for disposing of this waste has fallen on the shoulders of the general public. In the future, however, the German government wants manufacturers of disposable products to share in the costs of keeping its cities clean.

European law has “created the conditions for the manufactures of cigarettes, disposable cups and other typical disposable items to pay for those costs”, explained Schulze. Now, Germany wants to develop the legal basis for a domestic regulation.

In a first step, the environment ministry has launched a German-wide study to determine the number of disposable products in public waste bins and how much ends up on roads or in parks. The amount that the manufacturers will then be asked to contribute will be measured by several factors, including the cost of clean up and disposal.

But the ministry warns about the “deceptiveness” of bioplastics, as these products “do not degrade in organic waste bins or compost plants and certainly not in the environment”. At the EU level, Germany wants to reserve this designation “only for plastics that are 100% biologically degradable”.

Image credit: Dennis via Pixabay

You may also like...

Leave a Reply