German recycling group urges restrained government involvement

German recycling group urges restrained government involvement

BDSV welcomes recent political statement on circular economy competition.

February 8, 2018
Edited by Brian Taylor

Germany’s ferrous scrap recycling trade association, the Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Stahlrecycling- und Entsorgungsunternehmen (BDSV), has stated it “welcomes the agreement announced today by the coalition [political] parties CDU, CSU and SPD as a step in the right direction concerning the principle of competition” as the country works toward “the successful German model of the circular economy.”

Regarding the early February 2018 statement from the three German political parties now jointly holding power, BDSV adds, “This leads to the conclusion that politicians have finally arrived at the point of not being able to ‘improve’ recycling in Germany by giving it over to municipal services of general interest.”

Recyclers in Germany have complained for several years about the encroaching power of municipalities in the recycling sector in Germany, with paper recyclers having brought the problem to the attention of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) as early as 2014.

Comments BDSV General Manager Rainer Cosson on the early 2018 political statement, “The sometimes-tortuous discussions in the past legislative period - keyword packaging law! - should not be repeated in the next three-and-a-half years. Small and medium-sized businesses must have a fair chance. The announcement that they want to develop a ‘National Research and Innovation Strategy for Resource Protection Technology’ together with industry also is welcomed.”

Regarding such research, Cosson adds, “The steel recycling industry would like to participate with [its] expertise.” BDSV indicates there is a need for further research on the need to separate metal and metal/plastic composites, which can currently pose considerable problems, according to the association.

BDSV states it also favors “strengthening of product responsibility,” with the idea that in the “development of circular economy systems, medium-sized steel recycling companies must continue to have a fair chance in the context of newly built systems.”