In addition to plastic, a lot of other garbage ends up on the streets or in parks. The city council therefore insists that the planned levy on manufacturers of single-use plastic be extended to materials such as cardboard and aluminum. There is also criticism from the German trade association - but for different reasons.
The German Association of Cities has called for the planned levy for manufacturers of single-use plastic to be extended to include other materials. The proposed law, which is still being discussed in the Bundestag, is "a good start" but does not go far enough, said the association's chairman, Helmut Dedy. The levy should be extended to other single-use products.
The regulation, which is about to be passed, stipulates that manufacturers of products made of single-use plastic pay into a fund and thus participate in the waste disposal in parks and streets. The fee would have to be paid annually. The more plastic manufacturers put on the market, the more they would have to pay.
"Whether the single-use trash is made of plastic, cardboard, or aluminum makes no difference to the effort and cost of cleaning," Dedy said. "The fund should therefore be expanded to include more single-use products and more materials." The head of the municipal association states that the annual costs for waste disposal for cities and communities are at least 700 million euros. "Every year the mountain of waste grows higher and every year the cost our cities have to pay to dispose of carelessly discarded packaging waste increases," he said.
According to the text of the law, initial calculations for the new plastic fund assume income of up to 450 million euros. Municipalities can apply for the money to cover the costs of waste disposal and "awareness-raising measures".
The Greens member of the Bundestag Jan-Niclas Gesenhues campaigned for the plans. "Plastic pollution is finally getting a price," he said. "The levy on single-use plastic makes the actual polluters responsible. Because it ensures that manufacturers share in the disposal costs that we as a society have all had to bear on our own up to now."
The FDP MP Judith Skudelny also described the plastic tax as "right". But it should not be understood as "the sale of indulgences," she said. It is often the consumers who are responsible for the littering and "the municipalities are still required to actively pursue these administrative offences".
The economy is again concerned. She fears that manufacturers will be unnecessarily burdened by the plastic tax. The managing director of the German trade association, Antje Gerstein, therefore said that the actual design for the affected sectors had to be cost-efficient and fair. The association had clearly spoken out in favor of a model under private law, but unfortunately politicians opted for a different model, she added.