• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Berlin SPD floats 'fast-food trash tax'

The Local · 31 Oct 2012, 14:40

Published: 31 Oct 2012 14:40 GMT+01:00

"We're considering it," Berlin's Social Democrat Environment Minister Michael Müller told the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper. His party is the leading coalition partner with the conservative Christian Democratic Union ruling the city state.

"The special fee would mean those who cause the litter, like the operators of coffee shops and consumers would pay the cleaning costs," said Michael Arndt, chairman of the SPD's local branch, which made the proposal. The money would be directed straight to Berlin's state rubbish removal service, the BSR.

Arndt also said that discounts for customers who bring their own cups to coffee shops would be a possibility. "What we definitely don't want is for the bins on the streets to get bigger and bigger, because the BSR's bins keep overflowing," he said.

The proposal has been greeted by the BSR. "If such a fee were allowed, it would be a good opportunity to keep congested areas clean," BSR spokesman Thomas Klöckner told the Berliner Morgenpost.

But the proposal might not be so easy to impose. Several Berlin district councils have tried to impose some kind of local "trash tax" in the past, only to be thwarted by the courts, who ruled that any such fee would have to benefit those paying it.

A similar scheme is being considered in Munich and a packaging tax was successfully imposed on fast food stands in the central German town of Kassel in the mid-1990s, imposing an extra fee on each paper plate and plastic fork. Around 50 other towns then followed Kassel's example, until the fee was overturned in the courts in 1998.

Story continues below…

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

15:38 October 31, 2012 by Bulldawg82
Fast food trash is a plague in every country. Not sure what the solution is, but taxing it won't stop it. But, we all know that this is not the point of if a fast food trash tax . . . an opportunity for increased revenue is the real motivation. Governments have become like businesses in that they are always looking for ways to squeeze money from people for itself.
16:36 October 31, 2012 by The-ex-pat
As usual in Germany, we have a problem, so a tax will solve it...............
18:28 October 31, 2012 by karldehm
Sounds like a great idea. Should have had one years ago. Those who eat junk should pay a garbage tax.
18:50 October 31, 2012 by catjones
karldehm.....I agree. And those who buy packaged goods from the grocery stores should be taxed as well, plus vending machines, gas stations and I saw a guy buy a paper wrapped brat at the train station: tax him too. They should also add a waste tax to cigarettes because they too are tossed to the ground.
23:22 October 31, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
And tax the Finanzamt for all that needless paperwork they make us fill out. Tax the arbeitsamt and job centre for all the needless post they spam us and filling up our homes with files etc etc.
23:24 October 31, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Since some people eat their way into the hospital, this seems fair.
02:50 November 1, 2012 by catjones
ovalle3.14...yeah and all the germans ate healthy before fast food....
08:57 November 1, 2012 by Englishted
What about that fast food that come prepacked in it's skin and is not unhealthy ,with the added bonus that the wrapping can provide hours of slapstick fun .

So go bananas .
11:55 November 2, 2012 by raandy
I like the part where the BSR is in favor. surprise, surprise.

Not the way to solve the problem, start with the companies that distribute all this paper and plastic, make them pay,they are making a profit where the user is preparing for winter, hibernation.
Today's headlines
Man gets life in jail for murder of two young children
Silvio Schulz. Photo: DPA

A former security guard was handed a life sentence Tuesday for murdering two children, one of them a four-year-old Bosnian boy snatched from a crowded migrant registration centre last year.

Munich shooting
German Turks mourn Munich shooting victims
Flowers for the victims. Photo: DPA

Seven of the nine victims were Muslim.

Doctor killed in Berlin hospital shooting: police
Police at the scene in southern Berlin. Photo: DPA

A doctor has died after being shot at a Berlin hospital by an elderly man, Berlin police said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The Local List
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts

These hidden spots are steeped in shadows of their past and just begging to be explored...

Berlin refugee teen prepares to swim at the Olympics
Photo: DPA

Eighteen-year-old refugee Yusra Mardini has pulled a boat of 20 refugees from the middle of the Aegean to the Greek shore. Now she's preparing to swim at the Olympics.

Opinion
There still hasn’t been an Isis attack on Germany
The attack site in Ansbach. Photo: DPA

The last week has been brutal and shocking, but we need to stay calm and keep the events we have witnessed in perspective, argues Jörg Luyken.

How plainclothes cops caused panic at Munich shooting
Photo: DPA

Plainclothes officers can help in fight against gun attacks. But Munich showed that they can lead to confusion in efforts to track down the real attackers.

Immigration and integration Germany's 'biggest challenge'
Migrants queuing at a reception centre in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Eighty-three percent of Germans see immigration as Germany's "biggest challenge" - that's twice as many as a year ago, and more than in any of the other countries surveyed.

Ansbach suicide attack
Sleepy Bavarian town left shocked by suicide attack
Ansbach. Photo: DPA

Residents of Ansbach were left reeling Monday after a Syrian suicide bomber blew himself up outside a music festival, shattering the sleepy calm of this picture-postcard southern German city.

Rapturous reception at Wagner fest's opening night
Bayreuther festival 2016, Parsifal. Photo: DPA

Germany's legendary Bayreuth opera festival, dedicated to the works of Richard Wagner, got off to a rapturous start on Monday with a brand new production of the composer's last opera, "Parsifal", enthusiastically received by the first-night audience.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,756
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd