US News Plastic waste: Svenja Schulze wants to oblige restaurants to use reusable packaging.

12:41  17 january  2021
12:41  17 january  2021 Source:   spiegel.de

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Environment Minister Svenja Schulze wants to tighten the requirements for plastic packaging. Restaurants and delivery services should only use reusable packaging. However, there is still some time to go before the possible law.

  Plastikmüll: Svenja Schulze will Restaurants zu Mehrwegverpackungen verpflichten © DPA / Alexander Heinl

In the corona pandemic, restaurants and bars are closed, delivery services are booming. However, many companies package their food in disposable plastic, and the garbage piles up. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze ( SPD ) now wants to oblige restaurateurs to offer reusable packaging for all meals outside the home. This emerges from an amendment to the packaging law that is available to her, reported the "Bild am Sonntag". The new requirement should be introduced into the cabinet on Wednesday and also apply to the sale of coffee, reported the ARD capital studio.

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However, the law will be a long time coming. The reusable obligation should apply from January 2023 for so-called final distributors, i.e. all restaurateurs, caterers and delivery services. Exceptions are companies with less than 80 square meters and a maximum of five employees. According to ARD information, however, this exception does not apply to branches of large chains.

The reusable alternative should not cost any more, should not entail any loss of quality and should be clearly advertised. However, disposable cups or containers should still be possible.

"Disposable plastic is still the rule in many restaurants, snack bars and cafes," Schulze told "Bild am Sonntag". »My goal is for reusable to go to become the new standard. So I want to oblige the catering industry to offer non-reusable packaging as well as reusable packaging in the future. «

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Use a reusable coffee mug instead of disposable ones. Consider alternatives such as Soda Stream and She stopped buying chips and other packaged snacks, chocolate bars, fresh berries that aren't locally She plans to use the plastic bags and containers she already has for as long as they hold up.

Hotel and Restaurant Association Criticizes Project

The General Manager of the Hotel and Restaurant Association, Ingrid Hartges, criticized the timing of the initiative. "The discussion about a reusable obligation comes at an absolutely inopportune time," she told the "BamS" with a view to the particularly severe effects of the Corona crisis on the catering trade. »Delivery and collection services are currently the only thing that keeps the industry going. The last thing the catering industry needs now is the prospect of additional costs and documentation requirements, «warned the head of the association.

The Vice-Prime Minister in Saarland , Anke Rehlinger (SPD), meanwhile spoke out in favor of extending the VAT reduction on food in restaurants until the end of the year. As things stand, the tax cut from 19 to 7 percent should end on June 30th. "The lower the value added tax becomes a farce the longer the shutdown lasts," said Rehlinger of the "BamS". "After all, nobody can eat in closed restaurants."

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