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Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety The draft law to implement the EU Waste Framework Directive has passed the Federal Council. The law for less waste and more recycling has thus cleared the last hurdle and can come into force this October.

Amendment to the Recycling Management Act will be passed by the Federal Council

The draft law for the implementation of the EU Waste Framework Directive passed the Federal Council today. The law for less waste and more recycling has thus cleared the last hurdle and can come into force this October. In future, recycled products are to be given priority in public procurement. With the new duty of care, the state will for the first time have legal action against the destruction of new goods or returns. For the first time, there is also a legal basis to allow manufacturers and retailers of single-use plastic products, such as to-go cups or cigarette butts, to participate in the cleaning costs of parks and streets by ordinance. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze: “The new law gives us new instruments the hand in action against littering the environment and against wasting resources. Now, for the first time, there is a legal basis with which the state can allow manufacturers and retailers of disposable plastic articles to contribute to the cleaning costs of parks and streets. This will ensure cleaner streets and parks and, at the same time, a fairer distribution of costs. The state can also do more to combat the waste of resources in future: Goods from returns and overhangs should no longer simply end up in the trash. Thanks to the new duty of care, dealers will have to find a sensible use for these goods. We are thus breaking new legal ground and doing pioneering work in the EU. ”The new duty of care strengthens the product responsibility of manufacturers and dealers. In the future, you will have to keep products as usable as possible when selling, instead of throwing them away for economic reasons. For the first time, manufacturers and dealers can be required by ordinance to draw up a transparency report. In it, they disclose the extent of the destruction of the goods and document the measures taken or planned against the destruction of the goods. For certain returns or goods overhangs, suitable measures can be specified, such as a donation obligation. To promote recycling, the draft law relies on more ambitious recycling quotas. In addition to paper, metal, plastic, glass and bio-waste, bulky waste and hazardous waste, as well as textiles from private households from 2025 on, will have to be consistently collected separately. Public procurement will provide an important boost to the demand for recycling products. The 6,000 procurement offices in federal authorities as well as federally owned and federally controlled companies will in future have to give preference to recycled products over new ones. With the law, the federal government has made itself the duty to give preference to products that are gentle on raw materials, low in waste, repairable, low in pollutants and recyclable, provided that there are no unreasonable additional costs Actors are met. For example, fashion chains have recently discovered used textiles as a lucrative market. As part of voluntary product stewardship, they take old clothes back from their customers in order to recycle them. However, this has made them competing with municipal waste disposal companies, whose disposal structure is now threatening to become uneconomical. The municipalities are obligated to maintain this disposal structure in any case. The change in the law counteracts this imbalance. If players such as fashion chains take back waste in the future, they must guarantee high-quality take-back and recycling for at least three years. This creates planning security for municipalities and companies. In addition, public waste disposal companies will in future be able to enforce in court that commercial collectors comply with the legal requirements. The amendment to the Recycling Management Act provides the necessary legal framework for an ecological further development of the existing rules. The law transfers the EU Waste Framework Directive and, in parts, the EU Single-Use Plastic Directive as well as changes to the Packaging Directive and the WEEE Directive into national law and in important areas goes beyond the requirements of the EU. The amended law will come into force after its promulgation in October 2020. The federal government will then initiate the relevant ordinances.

Appreciate instead of throwing away

09.10.2020 | Press release No. 176/20 | Waste management

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