Upper limit for plastic content in organic waste

Released on 22.09. 2021

  • Time and again things end up in the organic waste bin that don’t belong there. Photo: Jan Woitas

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Plastic waste often ends up in the organic waste bin. An amendment to the Biowaste Ordinance is now intended to counteract this – and for the first time provides for an upper limit.

Berlin (dpa) – A large part of bio-waste in Germany should in future only contain a maximum of 0.5 percent plastic before further processing.

This upper limit, which was introduced for the first time, sees this the amendment to the bio-waste ordinance, which the Federal Cabinet decided. According to the Federal Environment Ministry, this affects more than 40 percent of the total amount of 14 Millions of tons.

For the remaining waste that ends up in the organic waste bin and from to be further treated there, an upper limit for the plastic content of 1.0 percent should apply. 2019 around five million tons of waste were collected in the organic waste bin. Experience has shown that the plastic waste in the organic waste bin, which mostly comes from private households, is more difficult to process – hence the higher upper limit Check biowaste. If the new upper limits are exceeded, they have to laboriously remove the foreign matter. The new rules are expected to come into force in the first half of the year


«Plastics have Nothing to look for in organic waste, ”said Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD). Far too often, food waste with plastic packaging would end up in composting or biogas plants. Schulze also pointed out the high costs involved in removing plastic.

Schulze’s appeal

Schulze also appealed to consumers and consumers to “conscientiously” separate organic waste. A large part of the organic waste still ends up in the residual waste bin (40 percent).

The Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) welcomed the new regulation. Plastics in organic waste are a “big nuisance,” said VKU Vice President Patrick Hasenkamp on Wednesday of the dpa. Citizens also have to make their contribution here. Hasenkamp announced that the municipal waste disposal companies wanted to «intensify» their waste advice. “In the event of incorrect fillings”, the disposal companies would have to leave bins standing in the future, said Hasenkamp.

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