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StGB NRW on packaging tax: local authorities should wait and see

The association of municipalities recommends waiting for the Federal Constitutional Court's decision on the municipal packaging tax.


The Committee for the Environment and Consumer Protection of the NRW Association of Towns and Municipalities (StGB NRW) recently unanimously recommended that towns and municipalities in the state wait until the Federal Constitutional Court has made a final decision on the admissibility of municipal packaging taxes before introducing them. In May 2023, the Federal Administrative Court (BVerwG) ruled that the levying of a municipal single-use packaging tax is generally lawful and does not contradict current European and German waste legislation. The McDonald branch in Tübingen had lodged a constitutional complaint against this with the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG). The local authorities should wait and see whether the court will follow the BVerwG's new line on the Tübingen case in a change to its previous case law in order to avoid unnecessary personnel and material costs, according to the local authority association's recommendation. The StGB NRW justifies its recommendation by stating that it is completely open whether a municipal single-use packaging tax could be permissible under waste law with regard to certain single-use plastic products after the Single-Use Plastic Fund Act comes into force from 2024, as the Single-Use Plastic Fund Act also provides for a special levy for manufacturers of certain single-use plastic products. Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), on the other hand, advocates the introduction of a municipal packaging tax. According to a legal opinion, this would not legally conflict with the national single-use plastic fund and could be introduced by local authorities without hesitation, as it would not result in double taxation.

  • StGB NRW press release (Nov. 16, 2023)
  • (Nov. 22, 2023)
  • Photo: (agenlaku, idonesia)

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