BERLIN - The German cabinet backed a draft law on Wednesday that will require manufacturers of products made with single-use plastic, like bottles and cups, to pay an annual levy into a fund to help municipalities with the cost of clearing up litter.
Initial estimates put the fund's annual revenue at up to 450 million euros ($445.10 million), the Environment Ministry said in a statement, adding that producers would pay the levy from spring 2025 based on the quantity of products they sold in 2024.
"Cigarette butts, bottles, to-go cups and disposable food containers unfortunately end up far too often on roadsides, in our parks and forests and are a reflection of the litter crisis," Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said.
"With the new law, we are counteracting the waste of resources and environmental pollution and at the same time relieving the burden on cities and municipalities," added Lemke, a member of the ecologist Greens.
"Reusable plastic, not throwaway plastic, is to become the new standard," she said in the statement.
($1 = 1.0110 euros)
(Reporting by Markus Wacket Writing by Paul Carrel Editing by Rachel More)