"So far too many old devices end up in the residual waste or are disposed of illegally," said the SPD politician to the "editorial network Germany". Its aim is to make it easier for consumers to dispose of their old devices correctly.
The Federal Environment Ministry submitted a corresponding draft bill for the amendment to the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act on Wednesday in the departmental vote and the association hearing. Accordingly, a closer collection network is to be created to make it easier for consumers to return disused devices, reports the RND. For this purpose, supermarkets with a retail space of more than 800 square meters are to be obliged to take back old electrical appliances free of charge. Online trading is also to be more closely involved, for example by means of an obligation to collect free of charge when shipping a new device. Overall, there should be more return points: Even those who treat old electrical devices - i.e. companies that are involved in the recycling of the built-in material - should be allowed to collect old devices directly without being commissioned by a distributor, manufacturer or a municipality. Minister Schulze sees the supermarkets in the focus of the change in law. "The big food retailers who bring many electrical appliances onto the market themselves should become an important collection point," she said. "If you can return your old electronic device to the supermarket instead of just to the recycling center in the future, it will make things easier for consumers and benefit the environment." At the same time, supermarkets should be protected from overload. "If you don't sell new freezers yourself, you don't have to take old ones," Schulze told the RND. The collection of used electrical equipment is insufficient in Germany. The EU has prescribed a collection rate of at least 2016 percent annually since 45, and even 2019 percent since 65. According to data from the Federal Environment Agency, Germany has only achieved a collection rate of 43,11 percent (2018). This value is even below the value for 2017.