Disposable cups have a short life.
In future, restaurateurs should therefore also offer reusable packaging.
Photo: Sebastian Gollnow / dpa
Disposable or reusable?
Those who order takeaway food and drinks should in future have a choice when it comes to packaging.
The Federal Cabinet has passed an amendment to the Packaging Act which, among other things, provides for reusable alternatives for plastic cups or Styrofoam trays from 2023.
As a result, there will be no exceptions to the one-way deposit obligation next year.
In addition, by 2025, at least a quarter of plastic bottles will have to be made of recycled plastic.
With the amendment to the law, the federal government wants to implement mandatory EU plastic and waste regulations in German law and reduce the amount of waste - especially with plastics.
The Federal Environment Ministry presented its draft law at the end of November 2020 and announced that the new packaging law should come into force at the beginning of July 2021.
Until then, the Bundestag and Bundesrat must agree - many consumer-relevant rules will come later anyway.
"From 2023, customers will have more freedom of choice in the to-go area," said Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD).
You should be able to choose reusable everywhere.
The aim of the law is "that reusable boxes and reusable cups become the new standard for on the go," explained Schulze.
The minister was convinced that "many good solutions are emerging, including for delivery services".
According to the Ministry of the Environment, the reusable variant must not be smaller or more expensive than the corresponding disposable packaging - only a deposit may be added.
The reusable containers must therefore also be taken back by the respective restaurateur.
Small shops with a maximum of five employees and 80 square meters of retail space are exempt from the reusable obligation - they must, however, fill their customers with food or drink in containers they have brought with them if they wish.
The amendment also extends the mandatory one-way deposit in 2022 to all beverage cans and PET bottles: "Exceptions for fruit juices or mixed alcoholic beverages in one-way plastic beverage bottles or beverage cans are no longer applicable," said the Ministry of the Environment.
A transition period until 2024 applies only to milk products.
There are also plans for a so-called minimum recyclate content for one-way plastic bottles: From 2025, corresponding PET beverage bottles must contain at least 25 percent recycled plastic.
In 2030 the quota will rise to 30 percent and will then apply to all single-use plastic bottles.
"Manufacturers can decide for themselves whether they want to meet this quota per bottle or spread over a year for their entire bottle production," the ministry said.
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