Bundestag decides to extend the bottle deposit

In the future, operators of restaurants and snack bars will also have to offer reusable packaging for “take away” sales. With this, Parliament is reacting to the sharp increase in packaging waste in Germany.

“To-Go” packaging often does not end up in the trash.  Removal in parks and on streets now costs municipalities 700 million euros a year.

RIn the future, restaurants, snack bars and cafés will have to offer their customers a reusable option in addition to disposable packaging. A corresponding obligation, which will apply from 2023, was decided by the Bundestag on Thursday evening. Exceptions apply, however, to smaller catering establishments that are no more than 80 square meters in size and have no more than five employees.

At the same time, the MPs extended the deposit requirement to all single-use plastic bottles and beverage cans. So far, there are still beverages – such as non-carbonated fruit juices – whose packaging does not require a deposit. Such exemptions will no longer apply from 2022; There is only a transition period until 2024 for milk and milk products. In addition, a minimum proportion of recycled plastic will be introduced for the production of PET bottles.

These measures are intended to reduce packaging waste in Germany. “With more reusable packaging, we will effectively curb the flood of packaging, especially in the to-go area,” said Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD).

For environmentalists, however, the new regulations do not go far enough. Above all, the exceptions to the reusable obligation are criticized. The German Hotel and Restaurant Association, on the other hand, fears an additional financial burden, the HDE trade association is demanding at least longer transition periods.

700 million euros disposal costs

From the point of view of the German city cleaners, however, the law provides important impetus for a more sustainable handling of packaging waste. Municipal cleaning companies in particular are suffering from the to-go boom, according to the Association of Municipal Companies (VKU). The removal of the waste from public spaces costs around 700 million euros per year.