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Everything will be better ...

Cologne, 13.08.2014

… is the promise made by the GemIni initiative – everything will be better once the dual systems have been done away with and the organisation of packaging returns and recycling has been left in the hands of the local authorities. This demand is not new by any means. Nor is the fact that calls of this kind are being made while the most important question of all – i.e. how they plan to finance it – should only be cleared up once responsibility has already passed to the local authorities.

It is now official who the most powerful supporter of GemIni is: Remondis, the largest waste disposal company in Germany. Companies rarely call for their own customer base to be abolished. Just to be on the safe side, Remondis has already announced its intention to phase out its Eko-Punkt dual system by the end of the year. Needless to say, the official reason given for this is system development and not, heaven forbid, the fact that Eko-Punkt only managed to hold on to a market share of around one percent in recent years.

However, it gets really interesting when you look at what a remunicipalisation would mean for Remondis: it would get rid of the competition and, in turn, the pricing pressure. Prices are rising and so too are the revenues of waste disposal companies. Plenty of recent media reports have outlined how Remondis is already lining its pockets at the public’s expense. With so-called public-private partnerships, it is already making millions in profits from fee revenues. Take for example the waste incineration plant in Oberhausen in which Remondis acquired a 49 percent stake in 2001. Residual waste, which the general public pays a fortune to have removed, is burnt here at excessive prices. Leading to fat profits for the companies involved. Should GemIni succeed with its demand, this will mean even more juicy profits for Remondis in the future. In this respect, at least, the initiative is quite right: things really will be better – for Remondis, that is.

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