Single-use plastic levy up to 8.95 euros per kilogram

Based on a study, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) proposes to introduce separate cost rates for each plastic product group: For disposable plastic cups, a levy of 1.23 euros/kg would make sense; for plastic-containing filters of cigarettes, producers would have to pay as much as 8.95 euros/kg into the disposable plastic fund, according to UBA.

As the Federal Environment Agency reports, too much single-use plastic ends up on the streets or in parks. Above all, the collection and cleaning impose costs on cities and municipalities of up to 434 million euros each year. This was the result of a study by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). According to the EU regulations to be implemented, manufacturers of single-use plastic products will have to bear these costs in future. This is also provided for in the draft of the German Single-Use Plastics Fund Act (Einwegkunststofffondsgesetz/EWKFondsG), which the Federal Cabinet adopted in November 2022 and which now enters the parliamentary procedure. Based on its study, the UBA currently proposes to introduce separate cost rates for each plastic product group: For disposable plastic cups, a levy of 1.23 euros/kg would make sense; for plastic-containing filters of cigarettes, manufacturers would have to pay as much as 8.95 euros/kg into the Disposable Plastics Fund, according to UBA. The money would then be paid out to cities and municipalities, for example, which have been paying for the cleaning costs up to now.

The study commissioned by UBA has developed a cost model for the implementation of Article 8 (2) and (3) of the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive on a scientific basis. The EU obliges all member states to charge producers of certain single-use plastic products for, among other things, the costs of eliminating such products from the environment.

According to the UBA study, single-use plastic products such as, among others, takeaway food containers, bags and film packaging, beverage cups and containers, lightweight carrier bags, wet wipes, balloons, as well as tobacco products with plastic-containing filters, cause costs of around 434 million euros annually: for the collection, cleaning and disposal of waste in the public sector as well as for consumer awareness. Per inhabitant, that is equivalent to 5.22 euros per annum in Germany alone.

On this basis, the study makes proposals for the levy rates per single-use plastic product group. They serve the yet to be established Single-Use Plastics Commission as well as the legislature as a scientific basis for setting the levy rates and the point system for the payments. The amount of levies to be paid into the Single-Use Plastic Fund by manufacturers is based on the quantity of single-use plastic products placed on the market. The levies paid in are used to reimburse the public sector for collection, disposal and awareness-raising costs. Cities, municipalities, public waste management authorities or motorway maintenance services are to report services rendered to the Single-Use Plastic Fund on the basis of eleven service categories. According to this system, for example, billing is based on the cleaning kilometres driven or the volume of waste paper baskets emptied.

The detailed study by the Federal Environment Agency can be found here: Erarbeitung eines Kostenmodells für die Umsetzung von Artikel 8 Absatz 2 und 3 der EU-Einwegkunststoffrichtlinie (Developing a cost model for the implementation of Article 8 (2) and (3) of the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive)

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 beratung@take-e-way.de for any questions you may have on packaging as contemplated by the Packaging Act.

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