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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –

Source: Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation GermanyGermany has so far failed to advocate an EU-wide reduction in single-use plastic consumption during its presidency. Alliance “Ways out of the plastic crisis” calls for Germany to play an international pioneering role in the fight against plastic waste, waste prevention, reuse, sustainable product design and pollutant-free cycles must be made binding across the EU Berlin. The civil society alliance “Ways out of the plastic crisis” calls on Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze in an open letter to take decisive action against ever-increasing mountains of plastic waste that are dangerous to health and the environment during the German EU Council Presidency. The occasion is a meeting of EU environment ministers on October 23 in Luxembourg under the German presidency. In the opinion of the alliance, to which nine German environmental and health organizations belong, Svenja Schulze must finally take the initiative and use the EU Council Presidency to make waste prevention, reusable systems and high-quality recycling mandatory across Europe. Political action is urgently required as the amount of plastic waste in Europe and also in Germany continues to grow from year to year. In order to solve the plastic crisis and achieve a safe circular economy, the production of single-use plastic must be drastically reduced. Products and packaging must also be produced free of harmful substances. The current development of the Council conclusions on the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy by the EU Council of Ministers offers a great opportunity to establish binding regulations. These include waste prevention targets, reusable quotas and minimum usage quantities for recyclates. To ensure that products made from recycled material are just as safe as those made from new material, the same strict requirements with regard to pollutant content must apply here. The undersigned organizations expect Environment Minister Schulze, as Chair of the Council of Environment Ministers, to swiftly implement the recently decided measures under the EU chemicals strategy. This stipulates that polymers are to be regulated via the EU chemicals regulation REACH. In addition, planned grants from the EU reconstruction funds and corona aid must be used in a targeted manner to develop a sustainable recycling economy. This includes, above all, the promotion of the expansion of reusable systems, repair services and sharing models, safe and high-quality recycling as well as comprehensive collection of recyclable materials. Federal Environment Minister Schulze must go from being a brakeman to a designer in the EU Environment Council and take on the pioneering role. The European Union should also use its influence at the international level to pass an ambitious UN plastics agreement. In order to set a good example in Europe, Environment Minister Schulze has to do her homework in Germany. For example, the plastic tax to be implemented for the EU member states from 2021 should be designed into an effective instrument for reducing plastic production in this country. For this it is necessary to tax newly produced primary plastic in packaging as soon as it is put into circulation. The implementation of the EU single-use plastic directive should go beyond a 1: 1 fulfillment of European minimum requirements and not unnecessarily exhaust the time periods for implementation. Banning single-use plastic products such as straws, cutlery, cotton swabs or disposable cups made of expanded polystyrene is not enough. For a U-turn in the handling of plastic, a binding waste prevention target, the implementation of the reusable quota for beverage packaging, reuse quotas for sales, transport and shipping packaging as well as a significant increase in the price of plastics made from new material are necessary


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