German court backs can/bottle recyling law
BERLIN - A German court backed a government plan to introduce deposit charges on non-refillable cans and bottles next year, overturning an earlier ruling to block the measures in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The German government aims to introduce a deposit of 25 cents for small containers and 50 cents for cans and bottles larger than 1.5 litres from January 1. Deposits are returned when the bottles and cans are disposed of in special recycling machines.
A court in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia blocked the plans in a ruling in September, saying they did not conform with an existing law on recyling and refuse.
However, the state\'s senior administrative court in Muenster rejected this ruling and the complaints of about 25 retail groups and drinks producers in its decision last week.
The case will still go to the federal administrative court early next year.
The government\'s plans and previous German courts\' support for the directive have boosted shares in Norway\'s Tomra Systems Inc, which makes recycling machines which accept waste bottles and repay the deposits.
Tomra shares were up 4.3 percent at 61.00 Norwegian crowns at 1050 GMT in a slightly stronger Nordic market.
Retailers and beverage manufacturers have long opposed the measure but the government says it is necessary because the percentage of cans and bottles being recycled - typically after being returned to the retailer - has fallen below a 72 percent minimum target set in 1997.
Opponents say industry faces start-up costs of 1.4 billion euros and running costs of 0.9 billion euros per year and lost sales if they are forced to push up prices.
Environmental bodies say the measures support their campaign to clear three billion cans and bottles from Germany\'s streets.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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