Political demands for the circular economy

The German Bundestag election on September 26, 2021, is casting its shadow ahead, and important associations have presented their political demands. And: The Bundestag has passed an amendment to the German Packaging Act that will affect manufacturers and their obligations.

News Bild [Translate to Englisch:] Kreislaufwirtschaft VerpackG Bundestagswahl

Practical recycling management is active climate protection - this is the conclusion of the German Association of the Waste Management, Water and Raw Materials Industry (BDE), and Bundesverband Nachhaltige Wirtschaft (BNW) in a joint 10-point plan with demands on the circular economy. Germany must once again assume a genuine leading role in the circular economy, he said. For plastics in particular, there is a need for an independent strategy and similar high-quality recycling as for other materials (e.g. glass, paper, metals).


Similar arguments were put forward by the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (Naturschutzbund Deutschland e. V. (NABU) in its Ten Demands for the Bundestag Election for a Better Circular Economy: "Too much waste is still being incinerated or landfilled and not recycled. The recycling of plastics, construction waste, rare metals and the like urgently needs to be further expanded. Important for this is a circular product policy that obliges manufacturers to make products durable, repairable and, in the end, recyclable," says NABU federal director Leif Miller.


Meanwhile, the German Bundestag has passed an amendment to the Packaging Act (VerpackG). The reason for the amendment is the implementation of European requirements into German law. The aim of the 2019 Single-Use Plastics Directive is to reduce the impact of those single-use plastic products that are particularly likely to be generated as waste. In addition, there are several other important points: PET single-use beverage bottles must be made from at least 25 percent recyclate by 2025, rising to 30 percent by 2030. In addition, the mandatory deposit on single-use beverage containers will be extended to include juices, for example. Furthermore, amendments to the European Packaging Directive of 2018 will be implemented. Among other things, it contains various additions in the area of extended producer responsibility in Article 8a.


In a motion for a resolution, the parliamentarians note that the cost burden on manufacturers for the littering of certain products, as required by the directive, has not yet been implemented. The EU is currently drafting "implementation recommendations" for member states on this. Producers should not pay more than is necessary for cost-effectively provided services to eliminate litter. In addition, costs are to be determined between the stakeholders concerned in a transparent manner. In the implementation, "it should be taken into account that the Central Packaging Register Foundation (Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister, ZSVR) already maintains a register of packaging producers, so that the necessary data is partly already available and should be used."


In addition, the upcoming evaluation of the Packaging Act should examine how the municipalities could be strengthened vis-à-vis the system operators when setting fees for the shared use of their collection structures, especially waste paper collection. The bill must now pass the Bundesrat (Federal Council). The amended law is scheduled to enter into force on July 3.


(Image: BMU, Pixabay)