McDonald's wins lawsuit against Tübingen's packaging tax

McDonald's wins lawsuit against Tübingen's packaging tax

After months of legal conflict, the Administrative Court in Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, has ruled that Tübingen's controversial tax on takeaway packaging is invalid, after a McDonald’s branch sued the city following the tax’s introduction

The tax was intended to reduce waste

The tax, which was intended to reduce waste and stop the use of disposable plastics such as cutlery, straws and food containers, was ruled ineffective by the court on March 30. 

The law had stipulated that the international company would have to pay 50 cents for each disposable plate or cup given out, and 20 cents per piece of disposable cutlery. McDonald's argued that this was a disproportionate measure and that to implement it regionally would be unfair.

Disposable packaging costs municipalities a lot of money

Single-use plastics cost German cities a lot in terms of collection, disposal and littering. In Tübingen’s case specifically, dealing with disposable packaging costs the city around 700.000 euros each year, money that local authorities said could be better spent on things like infrastructure or maintenance.

The city had justified its tax as asking the source of the issue to pay towards the waste disposal costs, according to Tübingen city’s website. The city could now go on to take action against the decision made in the Mannheim court before the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig already allowed the initial law to be passed.



Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

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