Action on packaging waste exports promised by Germany

Germany has promised to stop exporting plastic packaging waste to EC countries after Christmas in the wake of complaints that these subsidised materials are damaging their recycling infrastructure. The move has drawn a mixed reaction from UK packaging producers who use cheap German waste and from plastics recyclers. German action on the much larger paper trade will not be so radical.

The problems created by Germany's packaging waste exports came to a head at the EC Environment Council in October. After hearing strong criticisms from the UK, France, Spain and Portugal, German Environment Minister Klaus Tö.pfer promised them bilateral talks.

Environment Minister Tim Yeo met Herr Tö.pfer at the end of October. His message was that Germany must take substantial action soon unless it wanted to be responsible for th

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