The new Single-Use Plastic Fund Act (EWKFondsG) supplements the already existing Single-Use Plastic Prohibition Ordinance (EWKVerbotsV) and the Single-Use Plastic Labelling Ordinance (EWKKennzV) of 2021 and serves to implement the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (EU 2019/904) of 5 June 2019, the aim of which is to reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.
It is aimed at all companies that make certain single-use plastics available on the market for the first time on a commercial basis in Germany or sell them directly from abroad by means of distance communication to private households or other users in Germany.
From 1 January 2024, manufacturers of the single-use plastic products listed below will be required to register in advance with the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in the future Single-Use Plastics Register and, depending on the type and mass of single-use plastic products made available or sold on the market for the first time in the respective preceding year, to make payments to the Single-use Plastic Fund from 2025 (cut-off date: 15 May). The amount of this so-called single-use plastic levy will be defined in the future Single-Use Plastic Fund Ordinance (EWKFondsV).
Entitled public authorities and other legal persons under public law who wish to claim reimbursement of their collection, cleaning and sensitisation costs for single-use plastic waste are likewise required to register with the German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt). The disbursement from the Single-Use Plastic Fund to those entitled to it is made on a calendar-year basis according to a points system.
From 2025 onwards, it will be mandatory for foreign manufacturers without a branch in Germany to appoint an authorised representative before commencing their activities.
Operators of electronic marketplaces and fulfilment service providers may only provide their services to registered manufacturers.
Overview: List of single-use plastic products (Annex 1 EWKFondsG)
- Food containers, i.e. containers, such as boxes with or without lids, for foodstuffs
a. intended to be consumed immediately, either on the spot or as a take-away dish,
b. are usually consumed out of the container
c. without further preparation such as cooking, boiling or heating; beverage containers, beverage cups, plates as well as bags and film packaging, such as wrappers, with food content are not food containers in this sense;
- bags and film packaging made of flexible material, such as wrappers, with food content that is
a. intended to be consumed directly from the bag or foil package, and
b. do not require any further preparation;
- beverage containers with a filling volume of up to 3 litres, i.e. containers used to hold liquids, such as beverage bottles with and without containers and composite beverage containers, including their closures and lids; beverage containers made of glass or metal with closures, lids, labels, stickers or wrappings made of plastic are not beverage containers in this sense;
- beverage cups including their closures and lids;
- lightweight plastic carrier bags, i.e. plastic carrier bags with a wall thickness of less than 50 micrometres, with or without a handle, offered to consumers at the point of sale of the goods or products;
- Wet wipes, that is, soaked wipes for body and household care;
- balloons; except balloons for industrial or commercial use and applications not supplied to consumers;
- tobacco products with filters as well as filters intended for use in combination with tobacco products.
From 2027, this list will be supplemented by fireworks.
take-e-way will keep you further informed on the EWKFondsG. The advisory team of take-e-way will be pleased to assist you. Please call +49/40/750687-0 or send an e-mail to email@example.com for any questions you may have on packaging as contemplated by the German Packaging Act.
For solutions on the subject of EU product labelling or packaging and, in particular, disposal labelling, the trade-e-bility consulting team is at your disposal via firstname.lastname@example.org or +49/40/75068730-0.