With a reporting portal, the environmental organization Greenpeace wants to put pressure on the implementation of the multi-way offer obligation in the hospitality industry, which has been in force since the beginning of the year. As announced by Greenpeace, the portal announced in February was launched on Wednesday. It was said that violations could be reported directly to the respective state authorities - i.e. usually to the environment ministries of the states. The German Association of Towns and Municipalities points to the difficult implementation of the standard.
The data of the transactions that do not comply with the rules from the point of view of the reporting party are stored in the portal, as well as the type of violations and the personal data of the reporting party. Based on the postal code entered, the notification is sent by e-mail to the relevant state authority. Ideally, the municipality should check whether the violations continue and then warn them to end them, Greenpeace explained.
Reusable offer obligation applies since January 1st
In the event of persistent violations and, if necessary, after further warnings, the authorities could then impose fines. The Greenpeace expert for circular economy, Viola Wohlgemuth, criticized that almost three months after the law came into force, the responsibilities for implementation had not even been clarified. Based on test purchases in the catering trade, the organization had complained at the beginning of the year that many companies were not complying with the requirements.
The multiple-way offer obligation has been in effect since January 1st. Restaurants, bistros and cafés that sell takeaway food and drinks must therefore also offer their products in reusable packaging. This is intended to replace single-use plastic packaging. However, the same product in reusable packaging must not be more expensive than in disposable packaging. Excluded are smaller shops such as snack bars and kiosks, in which a maximum of five employees work and which have a retail area of no more than 80 square meters. Violations can result in fines of up to 10,000 euros.
Prepare for the new regulation
The German Association of Towns and Municipalities emphasized that since this is still a "quite recent obligation", the regulatory authorities are currently showing "a certain initial tolerance". You would need to prepare for the new rule and enforcement first. This is made more difficult because there has not yet been any case law on this. However, individual cities are already actively carrying out controls, said Alexander Kramer, head of the department for general environmental law and waste management at the Association of Towns and Municipalities. It is at the discretion of the respective authorities whether fines are also imposed or whether there are initially only warnings and clarifications. Therefore, no figures could be given.
In view of the complex regulations, violations are often not immediately apparent, said Kramer. It is stipulated that the sales areas include all areas that are freely accessible to customers, such as seating and lounge areas, and in the case of the delivery service also all storage and shipping areas. "However, this cannot be easily measured on site." It is also difficult to determine the number of employees in the case of part-time employees. Overall, the law is currently not very practical.