1. The Executive Body adopted the Protocol on Heavy Metals on 24 June 1998 in Aarhus (Denmark). It targets three particularly harmful metals: cadmium, lead and mercury. According to one of the basic obligations, Parties will have to reduce their emissions for these three metals below their levels in 1990 (or an alternative year between 1985 and 1995). The Protocol aims to cut emissions from industrial sources (iron and steel industry, non-ferrous metal industry), combustion processes (power generation, road transport), and waste incineration.

  2. On 29 January 2000, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a supplementary agreement to the Convention known as the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. It entered into force on 11 September 2003. The Protocol seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms (LMO) resulting from modern biotechnology.

  3. The textile dye "Navy Blue 018112" may no longer be used or sold for the purpose of dyeing textile or leather goods within the European Union (EU). The permanent ban has been published in the European Community's Official Journal. The EU member states are obliged to transpose this directive into national law by June 2004. It has been almost exactly ten years since the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) called for such a ban after tests were conducted on the substances as part of the Chemicals Act.

  4. The law regulating mandatory deposits on non-reusable beverage packaging entered into force. The amount of the deposit is dependent on the volume of the product. By way of example the deposit on cans or plastic bottles containing beer, mineral water, or carbonated soft drinks with a volume of up to 1.5 liters is 25 cents. For packaging with volumes greater than that the deposit is 50 cents. This requirement is based on packaging regulations adopted in 1991. The deposit requirement was to remain in abeyance as long as the share of returnable beverage packaging remained above 72 percent. As of the end of last year this figure had declined to below 60 percent.

  5. The new Drinking Water Regulation implements the amendment of the EC- Drinking Water Directive (98/83/EC, 03.11.1998) as a national law. It is substantially based on the Infection Protection Law. Besides that, it reconfirms and redefines liabilities of the water supplying enterprises. The duties of the public health authorities and of the house owners have been enhanced and rendered more precisely.

  6. The German Ordinance on the Management of Municipal Wastes of Commercial Origin and Certain Construction and Demolition Wastes (Commercial Wastes Ordinance) entered into force. The ordinance mainly regulates an improved waste separation and pre-treatment.