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German Cabinet Proposes Plastic Levy That Places Increased Litter Responsibility On Manufacturers

by Rudy Sanchez on 11/15/2022 | 1 Minute Read

Besides beers, nice cars, and lederhosen, Germany is also known for being some of the best recyclers in the world. 

German citizens diligently separate and properly dispose of their garbage, with up to eight containers used to sort the materials. Plus, the European country boasts a recycling rate of 70%. However, the Teutonic nation still sees room for improvement, and its cabinet is proposing a law that will impose more responsibility for cleaning up litter, specifically Single Use Plastic (SUP) items like takeout containers, beverage cups, and cigarette filters.

The levy on plastic manufacturers would begin in the spring of 2025 and would be proportional to their 2024 production levels. The environmental ministry estimates that the proposed SUP law would raise $445.10 million in funds distributed to municipalities for local pick-up efforts.

“Cigarette butts, bottles, to-go cups, and disposable food containers, unfortunately, end up far too often on roadsides, in our parks and forests and are a reflection of the litter crisis," Steffi Lemke, Germany’s environmental minister, said.

"With the new law, we are counteracting the waste of resources and environmental pollution and, at the same time, relieving the burden on cities and municipalities," Lemke continued.

"Reusable plastic, not throwaway plastic, is to become the new standard.”

The law still needs to work its way through Germany’s parliament houses, Bundestag and Bundesrat. That said, here’s to countries attempting to enact EPR laws.

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