More responsibility for companies

Germany plans to make companies pay for the litter from single-use items.

More responsibility for companies

Berlin (dpa) - German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze Monday announced plans to force companies that manufacture single-use disposable products such as cigarettes or coffee cups to contribute to the cleaning and maintenance of streets and parks.

"Inattentive littering in public spaces is running rampant," Schulze said in Berlin. To help curb littering, companies needed to help support communities financially. She plans to present the legal framework for the measure by 2021.

The measure is designed to incentivize companies to produce more reusable items.

Germany's Association for Local Utlities (VKU) said it would conduct representative research for one year to determine how much of the litter in public spaces was created by single-use disposables and cigarettes.

VKU President Michael Ebling said that up to two thirds of the contents of public waste were made up of disposable packaging. In the city Maniz, where Ebling is also mayor, this represents 120 tons of litter per year.