License fee register obliges to recycle packaging

License fee register obliges to recycle packaging

License fee register obliges to recycle packaging

A new register for all manufacturers and distributors of packaging is intended to strengthen the recycling system. The register is online and will soon also be available to the public, said Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) on Thursday in Berlin. Who manufactures packaging or puts it on the market including paper cups for coffee, carrier bags or packaging in the mail order business – must register by the end of the year and thus also pay fees to one of the dual systems that organize packaging recycling in Germany.

Such an obligation has already existed before However, a lack of transparency meant that a lot of “system-required” packaging came into circulation without the manufacturer paying a license fee for it. So far, around a third of the recyclable packaging has not been involved in the financing of the system, and for paper even half, said Gunda Rachut from the central office that will control recycling from 2019.

The fact that more companies pay license fees for their packaging should not have any impact on consumers. So far, the system has cost each consumer around 12.50 euros per year, distributed across all consumer purchases, so the changes are “not in the noticeable range,” said Rachut.

In the future, the control of the register should primarily be ensured by the competition among the companies – experience has shown that they keep an eye on competitors. Dealers can also easily check whether all of their suppliers are registered. Companies that do not register face sales bans and fines.
The register is a component of the new packaging law, which will also increase the recycling rate in Germany from the current 36 percent to 63 percent from 2022. In addition, dual systems like the Green Dot have to make recycling-friendly packaging cheaper in their license fees than packaging that is difficult to recycle. In 2016, Germans used 220.5 kilos of packaging per person. Online shopping, smaller servings, and the habit of buying takeaway and drinks or having them delivered are driving the crowd.

The municipal garbage collectors were critical: “The packaging register is a first step, it remains to be seen whether it will bring us closer to our goal,” said a spokesman for the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU). There is a need for stricter, legally binding requirements for product design and the use of recycled material for manufacturers. Minister Schulze reiterated her support for the EU initiative to ban certain disposable plastic products such as straws.