Please fill out all the fields marked with an asterisk * and then click on "Send form".
The article has been sent
Thank you for your recommendationClose window
All hopes were on there being a new recyclables law. These were dashed, however, on 19 July when the Federal Ministry for the Environment once again presented a draft bill for a packaging law. Another draft bill, therefore, following in the footsteps of the seven amendments that had already been made to the Packaging Ordinance since 1990. The recyclables law – which is so urgently needed – will be a long time coming.
The Bundestag (lower house of the German parliament) will probably be taking a closer look at the latest draft packaging bill at the end of this year or at the beginning of 2017. The bill is already being heavily criticised by a number of groups. For example by the environmental organisations, BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany), DUH (German Environment Aid), NABU (German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union) and the umbrella organisation of German environmental NGOs, DNR (German League for Nature, Animal and Environment Protection).
All the organisations are calling for a recyclables law with ambitious environmental targets rather than yet another amendment to the Packaging Ordinance. They have reminded politicians in no uncertain terms that the objective here is to extend the kerbside collection of recyclables to include waste made of similar materials to sales packaging (i.e. plastic and metal) – something that is in the German government’s coalition agreement and yet is nowhere to be found in the draft packaging bill.
In their joint statement, the environmental organisations conclude: “The result is an unambitious draft bill for a packaging law that will mean a step backwards rather than forwards for environmental protection.” The organisations believe that the packaging law will prevent the recycling bin being introduced across the country. Nothing in the draft bill helps promote an increased collection of recyclables nor does it contain any effective measures to reduce volumes of waste or improve the quality of recycling.
The draft bill was drawn up in response to a resolution passed by the Bundesrat (upper house of the German parliament) on 29 January 2016. This resolution instructs the German government to submit a recyclables law to replace the Packaging Ordinance as soon as possible. The key issue behind this demand is to ensure that waste packaging and other types of waste made of the same materials are collected and recycled together in order to increase recycling rates.
The overall objectives of the Bundesrat are to achieve better and more innovative recycling systems, to have a simple collection scheme in place as well as to safeguard municipal interests and private sector competition. To ensure this happens, all local authorities should be responsible for collecting the recyclables whilst the actual task of sorting and recycling the materials should be put out to tender. A further demand submitted by the upper house is for there to be a central body with national powers. The tasks of such a body would then range from registering all businesses responsible for such products, to compiling uniform licensing regulations, all the way through to putting out tenders for sorting and recycling the materials. According to the Bundesrat, such a move to replace the current dual systems could greatly help to reduce red tape and cut the costs incurred by companies.
REMONDIS is also doing everything in its power to promote a recyclables law that increases raw material efficiency and the quality of recycling systems. At the end of the day, the aim here is to make the very most of the recyclable materials found in household waste. According to an INFA study, a further 95 kilograms of recyclables could be recovered from household waste per person per year. With this in mind, every possible step should be taken to exploit these volumes to help preserve our planet’s natural resources.