1. GA-English
  2. News

Disposable packaging to be avoided: Bonn weekly market should be zero plastic

Disposable packaging to be avoided : Bonn weekly market should be zero plastic

The Green Party and the FDP want to punish environmentally harmful packaging with higher stand rents. Other factions reject this, but consider the goal of avoiding garbage at the weekly market to be the right way.

The delivery and retail people to the Bonn weekly market should use less disposable packaging, crockery and cutlery. The economic committee has decided on a corresponding motion. However, there was a dispute between the parliamentary groups about the procedure. The Greens and the FDP had initially proposed that market stalls, snack stands and food trucks that do without such disposable products in the future would have to pay 15 percent less stand fees.

Those who continue to rely exclusively on one-way packaging would have to pay 25 percent higher fees, according to the applicants' ideas. In addition, in the opinion of the applicants, retailers should not replace disposable plastic with other disposable products or declare disposable products as "reusable". The Greens and Liberals did not find a majority for their initiative.

Instead, the committee decided on a more non-binding proposal from the CDU, against the votes of the Greens, FDP and Left Party. In the upcoming extension of the contract with market traders from April 1, the administration should work towards "the declared goal of significantly reducing disposable packaging and disposable tableware and cutlery". In the medium term the complete renunciation is to be aimed at, it said already in the request letter by Greens and FDP. The city's contractual partner is the Deutsche Marktgilde (DMG), which organizes the weekly market. The city council has the last word on the matter in its meeting on this Tuesday.

The sanctions and privileges proposed by the Greens and FDP go too far for the CDU, SPD and Bürger Bund Bonn. "Everyone in the committee agreed on the goal, but not on the implementation," said committee chairman Guido Déus (CDU) at the GA's request. However, penalty rates of 25 percent would mean a considerable interference in the contractual autonomy of the market guild in relation to the market suppliers.

Stefan Freitag (Greens) sees a missed opportunity in the rejected regulation. "As a city we have set ourselves the goal of being climate-neutral by 2035. This can only be achieved with great efforts in all areas," Freitag said. Achim Schröder, economic policy spokesman for the FDP, would also have welcomed a financial incentive. "From our point of view, this would have been the more effective means," Schröder emphasised. Now one waits also for the result of the negotiations with the market guild.

"Independent of political demands, we have been dealing with the topic of 'Plastic Poor Weekly Market' for quite some time now", reported DMG CEO Ingo Johnson. Bonn is one of the showcase markets, and the aim is to further increase quality through ecologically and economically sensible measures. "We would like to take up the topic of plastics at the weekly market in Bonn and start a kind of pilot project", said Johnson. He did not get more concrete: "We would start the implementation on a voluntary basis as soon as possible. The project is to be launched at the beginning of our new market year from April 1, 2021 at the latest," promised the DMG Managing Director.

Fruit dealer Jörg Fierenbaum rejects the plans: "Do you want to have dealers at the weekly market at all," he asked. "A plastic ban can only work if it applies to everyone," said Fierenbaum. As long as discounters offer a bowl of strawberries cheaper through plastic packaging than an environmentally friendly cardboard bowl at the weekly market, he doubts the proportionality. He also does not consider a reduced stand rent as an incentive: "After a year at the latest, the rent will be increased again and we will be left sitting on the additional costs," he is convinced.

Fierenbaum's stand neighbour Heike Cremer said: "Even if we wanted to, it would be difficult to do without the plastic packaging. She already obtains her goods in plastic packaging from the wholesale market. In addition, she had made the experience that most of her customers are not prepared to pay ten cents for the paper bags she offers. That is too expensive for the customers. One customer remarked that she finds "the thin plastic bags very practical". After all, one does not always have a shopping bag with one. The free bags made spontaneous shopping possible.