Online Platform DIVID of the Single-Use Plastics Fund Launched
4/11/2024 Sustainability New Paths Design Article

Online Platform DIVID of the Single-Use Plastics Fund Launched

The digital platform Divid, set up by the Federal Environment Agency, was launched on April 1st to implement the Single-use Plastics Fund Act (EWKFondsG).

Man and woman at FACHPACK exhibition stand with plastic campaign displays. The Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V. presented a poster campaign at FACHPACK to raise awareness. A lot has happened since the 90s. Thanks to innovative materials, plastic packaging has become a quarter lighter and easier to recycle. "Plastic is anything but uncool."

The EWKFondsG is the final stage in Germany’s implementation of the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive to “reduce the impact of certain plastic products on the environment.” This results, for example, in a ban on plastic drinking straws or the mandatory labeling of products containing plastic with the dead turtle symbol. As part of the “extended producer responsibility”, the participation of producers of certain single-use plastic products in the cleaning costs incurred by the public as a result of littering is regulated. In other words: from 2024, the Single-Use Plastic Fund Act will oblige manufacturers to bear the costs of their single-use plastic products collected as litter in streets or parks.

The extended producer responsibility has been applicable to producers of to-go food containers or tobacco filters (and related products) and certain other single-use plastic items since January 1st, 2024. The affected products include, for example, cigarettes with plastic filters, plastic drink containers, and balloons. The EWKFondsG applies to packaging containing foodstuffs made wholly or partly of plastic, such as boxes with or without lids, and bags and film packaging made of flexible material, if they are 1. intended to be consumed on the spot or as a take-away meal, generally directly from the container, 2. the bag or film and 3. they do not require any further preparation such as cooking, boiling, or heating.

The EWKFondsG was promulgated on May 15th, 2023. The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has set up the digital platform DIVID to manage and process the levies to be paid by companies to the Single-Use Plastics Fund. However, the platform has only just gone online and can be accessed via the homepage It can now be used to register domestic manufacturers. Foreign manufacturers and their authorized representatives can also create accounts. The platform is to be expanded step by step.

Companys who have already commenced operations before January 1, 2024 have until December 31, 2024 to register. The Single-Use Plastics Fund Act provides for an immediate registration obligation from January 1, 2024 only for the fraction of manufacturers who start their activities from that date. The duty to pay the levy will also apply by law from 2024, regardless of whether and when registration takes place.

According to the Federal Environment Agency, the delay in going online will have no effect on those entitled to claim. The required registration for cost reimbursement from 2025 still leaves sufficient time until the first benefit notification is submitted.

The law has been criticized by parts of the economy, while environmental associations feel it does not go far enough. The special levy affects packaging manufacturers, but also companies that only see themselves as retailers, explained Michael Below, a lawyer specializing in packaging and environmental law.

Who is the Single-Use Plastic Fund aimed at?

From 2025, affected manufacturers who make certain (see above) single-use plastic products "available on the market for the first time or sell them, depending on product type and mass" will pay into the Single-Use Plastic Fund. Cities and municipalities as well as other legal entities under public law can report their collection or cleaning measures and other reimbursable services to theUBA. The funds paid in are then distributed pro rata to the beneficiaries," says the UBA.

What is the Role of the Federal Environment Agency?

The UBA manages the Single-Use Plastic Fund, including the register for manufacturers and beneficiaries, digitally via the Single-Use Plastic Fund platform DIVID. Starting in 2025, the UBA will determine the amount of the levy to be paid by the individual manufacturers and the amount of the payments to cities, municipalities, and other entitled parties. Furthermore, the UBA is responsible for classifying single-use plastic products, determining the product type, and establishing the manufacturer status within the meaning of the Single-Use Plastics Fund Act.