Plastic waste floats near the entrance to the Ruzizi I hydroelectric plant in Bukavu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo...

Germany to force plastic makers to help pay for cleanups

BERLIN (AP) — The German government said Wednesday that it plans to make plastic manufacturers contribute to the cost of cleaning up litter in streets and parks.

The Cabinet agreed on a bill that makers of products containing single-use plastic will need to pay into a central fund managed by the government, starting in 2025.

READ MORE: U.N. begins work on treaty to fight global plastic pollution

The fund is estimated to collect about 450 million euros ($446 million) in the first year, based on the companies’ past production of single-use plastic.

Affected items include cigarette filters, drink containers and packaging for takeout food.

Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said the cost of cleanups in Europe’s biggest economy is currently borne by all.

“That should change,” she said. “Whoever depends on putting single-use plastic onto the market for their business should contribute to the collection and cleanup costs.”

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