In May, hope was still pinned on June, but now it’s white flags instead of yellow bags.

The disposal company Alba is running out of yellow bags, which it would have to make available to around 400,000 people in Berlin to dispose of their packaging waste.

As the “Spiegel” reported in advance on Friday, the company now expects the delivery of 1.3 million bags in mid-July. However, a forecast that goes beyond this is “not possible”, the private waste disposal company is quoted as saying.

Nobody was initially available in Alba’s press office on Friday. However, the description of the situation coincides with descriptions from other federal states, where yellow bags are no longer available locally either. The problem not only affects Alba, but also other private waste disposal companies whose supplies are stagnating due to a lack of plastic and disrupted supply chains.

In Berlin, around 220,000 single- and two-family house plots in the settlement areas of the outskirts are affected by the shortage.

To solve the problem, Alba asks people to help each other in the neighborhood or alternatively put the packaging waste in transparent garbage bags. As reported, however, the blue and black bags are still not picked up because the drivers cannot see their contents.

According to “Spiegel”, the Senate criticizes Alba’s practice as “a double financial burden” for those affected. Because they have already paid for the disposal of their packaging with the purchase.

A company spokesman explained to the Tagesspiegel that Alba does not step in for its customers and procures other bags itself because the procurement of such large contingents would inevitably create gaps in other areas.

[For all the latest news live on your phone, we recommend our app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]

The shortage became apparent last autumn and has become increasingly severe over the past few months. It comes at an unfortunate time for Berlin, because the packaging collection for the whole city is to be converted to bins anyway – but only next year and without the option of bringing the conversion forward.

The main reason for the Senate’s forced change is the regular complaints about wild animals such as crows and raccoons tearing open the sacks to get at the tempting-smelling contents.

The state-owned BSR also collects a small proportion of the packaging, which also takes it to the Alba sorting facility in Mahlsdorf. The recyclables can also be handed in at the recycling centers free of charge. They just have to be brought there first, which is difficult without suitable containers.