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The situation within the German market remains devastating: over 80% of companies are complaining about growing material shortages, and conditions have been aggravated by the Ukraine conflict. However, recyclers have been able to continue supplying their regular customers.

There has been a further strong increase in new products, but to a lesser extent in the case of recyclates; however, there has been no problem in imposing higher prices on end customers.

Good qualities are sought after but scarce within the recycling sector. Prices will inevitably continue to rise this month owing to the high cost of basic goods and energy. At the same time, bottlenecks will remain for new products.

The European plastic tax came into force at the beginning of 2021, with EU member states paying a levy on non-recycled waste. States can decide for themselves how to refinance the plastic tax; some countries such as Germany and Luxembourg are financing it through their budgets while others - especially in southern Europe - are passing this on to the private sector. In Germany, consideration is being given to passing the tax on to manufacturers of single-use packaging.

The German government is also considering a littering fund to further benefit the circular economy. The exact framework conditions - such as the amount of the fee, etc. - are to be determined by the legislature. Beneficiaries should be public sector waste management companies.

The deadline for implementing the EU directive is January 5 2023.