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Germany\'s opposition says would amend recycling law

Germany\ s opposition says would amend recycling law
BERLIN - Germany\'s conservative opposition said they would amend, rather than scrap, a law to introduce deposits on non-returnable cans and bottles if they win September\'s general election.
The government introduced the measure in an effort to meet strict domestic environmental standards, but the opposition CDU/CSU said last week they would not allow the directive to come into force as planned on January 1. The government\'s plans and German courts\' support for the directive have boosted shares in Norway\'s Tomra Systems Inc , which makes recycling machines. Last week, its shares fell more than 10 percent after the conservatives\' said they would seek to change the law. The wording of the conservative plans has softened slightly after chancellor candidate Edmund Stoiber held discussions with his campaign team, although the CDU/CSU seems still opposed to introducing deposits for single-use or \'one-way\' packaging. \"We will replace the government\'s mandatory deposit for \'one-way\' drinks packaging with an ecologically more effective and more practical law suitable for small business and one which better ensures containers are returned,\" reads the conservative paper outlining the measures they would undertake. The CDU/CSU are ahead of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder\'s Social Democratic Party in opinion polls, although Schroeder\'s handling of the flood disaster in recent weeks has dramatically narrowed the gap. The government directive, approved by the German cabinet in March, calls for deposits of 25 cents ($0.25) for smaller disposable containers and 50 cents for cans and bottles above 1.5 litres, starting in 2003. Deposits are returned when the bottles and cans are disposed of in special recycling machines. Retailers and beverage manufacturers have long opposed the measure but the government says it is necessary because the percentage of refillable cans and bottles has fallen below a minimum target level set in 1997. REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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