Germany agrees plan for deposits on cans from 2002
BERLIN - Germanys ruling centre-left government agreed a plan on Wednesday to introduce an obligatory deposit system for drink cans and non-refillable glass and plastic bottles from the start of 2002.
Environment Minister Juergen Trittin, a leading member of the Green junior coalition partners who have strongly backed the plan, first announced the plan in October last year when he said he hoped the system of deposits would be introduced this year.
The ministry said the introduction of a deposit on "ecologically damaging packaging" was aimed at stopping the rise of cans and glass and plastic disposable bottles and to stabilise market share for reusable and refillable packaging.
Economics Minister Werner Mueller that industry would have to pay "economically bearable" extra costs of less than two pfennigs ($0.009) per packaging unit.
Trittin said the deposit would be 0.25 euros per unit, with 0.50 euros per 1.5 litre bottle. The new rule will not cover wine bottles.
Retailers often favour disposable packaging as storing and returning the material to the producer can prove time-consuming and expensive.
Germany is one of the worlds most advanced countries in the field of environmentally sustainable practices, with a strong emphasis on recycling.
A large portion of beer and mineral water sold in Germany comes in returnable bottles. Trittin said introducing the deposit on disposable bottles was aimed at halting a rise in the use of environmentally unfriendly packaging.
The plan needs support in the Bundesrat upper house to come into force, but most states represented there have indicated their support for the plan.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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