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Cost model for the disposal of single-use plastics


German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU)




Wuppertal Institute, INFA GmbH, okl & Partner

The EU has agreed that producers of certain single-use plastic products will have to take more responsibility. According to the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (Article 8 2019/904), manufacturers will bear certain costs for the collection and disposal of single-use plastic waste in public spaces from 2023. To implement this, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the German Environment Agency (UBA) are currently examining the establishment of a single-use plastic fund. Prognos, together with the Wuppertal Institute and INFA, is developing a cost model for the implementation of the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive for the German Environment Agency Dessau, UFOPLAN division.

Affected manufacturers of the Single-Use Plastics Directive

The following products are mainly affected by the Single-Use Plastics Directive (EWKRL): To-go food packaging, beverage containers and cups, wet wipes, balloons and tobacco products with filters and filters for use in tobacco products (see EWKRL Annex Part E). A large number of manufacturers are affected by the Directive. For them, a cost system must be developed within the framework of national implementation. In this system, the financial contributions of the respective manufacturers are to be collected according to a certain key and distributed to the eligible public bodies according to certain criteria.

Derivation of product-specific payments

According to Article 8 (2) and (3) of the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive, in the future producers will bear the costs for collection in public collection systems as well as for cleaning campaigns, awareness-raising measures and data collection. These costs vary depending on the single-use plastic product. "Each single-use plastic product placed on the market has a specific cost contribution," says Prognos project manager Bärbel Birnstengel. "We want to show how this product-specific contribution can be derived and at the same time develop a proposal for determining the costs."

The public waste management authorities and other entitled parties are to receive an annual amount to reimburse the costs they incur for cleaning campaigns, awareness-raising measures and data collection. Studies and statistics at national and European level are evaluated and stakeholders are interviewed on the waste generation, the waste composition and the costs for the single-use plastics concerned. Especially the studies of the INFA Institute and the pbo engineering company are taken into account for the development of the model. In addition, own surveys are carried out. For example, in particularly highly frequented areas such as tourist areas with a low number of residents but a high volume of overnight or day visitors, local recreation areas, beaches and intensively used infrastructure.

The project will run until the end of October 2022. The project results are intended to flow directly into the implementation of the directive and serve as a scientific basis for cost allocation.

Links and Downloads

On the website of the Federal Environment Agency you will find:

The study (in german)

Project team: Marieke Eckhardt, Dr Bärbel Birnstengel, Romy Kölmel   

Date 2.12.2022

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Dr Bärbel Birnstengel


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Marieke Eckhardt

Project Manager

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