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Germany now targets fast food ware

International companies are still responding to Germany's environmental mandates on packaging and waste disposal. Last fall, one city and a Berlin-based federal court teamed up to put fast food disposable packaging in its sights.
FILED IN:  Sustainability  > Strategy

The city of Kassel enacted an ordinance in 1992 that requires each restaurant to pay taxes up to 30¢ for each piece of nonreturnable packaging or tableware supplied to customers. Two McDonald's restaurants and two vending companies challenged the ordinance but a Federal Administrative court upheld the right of Kassel to enact it noting that "the policy goal is to reduce the amount of garbage." Officials in major cities like Berlin and Cologne planned to introduce similar measures. German Environment Minister Klaus Tpfer said the federal government would also consider enacting such a national tax. Although McDonald's in the U.S. declined to comment on the ruling a representative in Germany said the chain would consider closing its restaurants in Kassel because price increases caused by the tax "will not be accepted by the market." Joseph Bow president of the Foodservice & Packaging Institute responded to the report by pointing out that an organization of food and environment sanitarians calls the strategy "a regressive step in food protection and contrary to the interests of public health."

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