04. March 2016

Law on recyclable materials and commercial waste ordinance

It is not official yet but it is very improbable that the new Law on Recyclable Materials will be passed in this parliamentary term. The main point of dispute between the German federal and state governments and communes concerning who will bear the responsibility in the future for the collection and recycling of packaging and non-packaging of a similar material reached a new peak on 29.01.2016 with the decision of the Federal Council to vote against leaving the responsibility in private ownership. This decision was adopted despite massive protests, including those by the BDI (Confederation of German Industry) and the CDU/CSU political parties, that this represents a de facto nationalisation of the exclusively privately organised collection of recyclable materials. Critics are of the opinion that this is not permissible under the constitution or under European law.

The amendment of the Commercial Waste Ordinance has also attracted a lot of criticism. According to this, the current concept of residential waste is to be expanded to include many types of commercial or industrial waste that can be disposed of by type, pollutant content and reaction behaviour like residential waste and are also to fall under commercial waste. This seems to be aimed primarily at the agricultural sector. 

Associations and management are currently being asked to give a statement to the BMUB as part of a survey on the estimation of consequences in the event of the expansion of commercial waste. A further point of criticism is the documentation that is included in the draft bill to prove that the future obligation to the separation of commercial waste is upheld. We can see from this that the reduction in bureaucracy that politicians vaunt so much is unfortunately not being realised here.

Download draft Law on Recyclable Materials (only in German):

Download draft Commercial Waste Ordinance (only in German):

Further information:

Claudia Hoese
Tel: +49 6 11/ 30 86 00-12