Year-by-year counts of wash margin collections show that plastics account for between 80-85 percent of litter on European beaches; 50 percent of which are single-use plastic products. From 2024, manufacturers of to-go food containers, tobacco filters and other single-use plastic products will be subject to increased manufacturer responsibilities. This will require them to contribute to the costs of public waste collection, cleaning and disposal in public areas, as well as waste consulting services. The details of this cost coverage are governed by the Single-Use Plastics Fund Act.
Who is the Single-Use Plastic Fund aimed at?
Affected manufacturers who provide or sell certain single-use plastic products on the market for the first time pay into the Single-Use Plastic Fund, depending on product type and mass. Cities and communities as well as other legal entities governed by public law can report their collection or cleaning activities and other reimbursable services to the UBA. The funds collected are then distributed to them on a pro rata basis.
What role does the German Environment Agency play?
The UBA manages the Single-Use Plastics Fund as well as the register for manufacturers and beneficiaries in a digital form via the single-use plastics platform DIVID. This platform will be available to manufacturers and beneficiaries for registrations and notifications from 2024 onwards. From 2025, the UBA will set the levy amount to be paid by individual manufacturers and the amount to be paid out to cities, communities and other beneficiaries. Furthermore, the UBA is responsible for classifying single-use plastic products, determining the type of product and identifying whether someone is a manufacturer as defined by the Single-Use Plastics Fund Act.
What is the purpose of the Single-Use Plastics Commission?
The UBA receives some support in performing its tasks from the Single-Use Plastics Commission. This advisory body, which has not yet been established, comprises representatives of the affected industries and claimants, as well as waste management, environmental and consumer associations. UBA will provide the offices for the Single-Use Plastics Commission.