A special levy was recently agreed on for waste made from single-use plastic, so that local authorities can be relieved of the costs of collecting and cleaning packaging waste. Now the German government has commented on its level.
The manufacturers of products made of disposable plastic are to contribute to the collection and cleaning costs of the municipalities. In February 2023, the SPD, FDP and Green parties voted in favor of the bill, while the opposition CDU/CSU, AfD and Left parties voted against it. However, the so-called plastic levy still has to pass the Bundesrat.
From 2025, manufacturers of single-use plastic products are to pay money to a fund managed by the Federal Environment Agency. According to the Federal Environment Ministry, this would amount to a total of 450 million euros per year. Municipalities, which have been responsible for financing waste disposal up to now, are to be able to siphon off money from the fund. The amount of the levy is to depend on the quantity of single-use plastic products first made available on the market or sold. The products affected include, for example, cigarettes with plastic-containing filters, plastic beverage containers and balloons.
The levy rates provided for in the ordinance have been determined as part of a scientific study by the Federal Environment Agency and reflect the costs caused by the respective single-use plastic product in the public space, the Federal Environment Ministry explains. It has now commented on the amount of the levy. For example, per kilogram of tobacco filters placed on the market, 8.945 euros will be due in the future, the levy rate for to-go beverage cups is 1.231 euros per kilogram and for to-go food containers 0.117 euros per kilogram.
While criticism comes from the business community, environmental associations are calling for further measures. The Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) also feels the regulation does not go far enough. “In the future, chewing gum, pizza boxes or aluminum trays should also be included in the manufacturer financing of municipal cleaning services,” said VKU Vice President Patrick Hasenkamp, according to a report by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).