The deposit obligation:
Since October 2003, retailers of drinks in single-use packaging, at all levels of the retail industry, have been required to charge a deposit on such products. Since 1 May 2006, consumers can return single-use bottles and cans that are subject to a deposit anywhere products that are subject to a deposit are sold in that packaging material (plastic, glass, metal, carton). Retailers of products in such packages must accept the returns and give customers the deposit stipulated by law.
Since 1 January 2009, those selling drinks in single-use containers that are subject to a deposit have been subject to further obligations. They include the requirement that such packaging is clearly and legibly marked as being subject to a deposit before it enters circulation.
Those selling drinks in single-use packaging are also obliged to participate in a national deposit system that allows its users to clear deposit claims directly with each other. The DPG supports the drink industry and retailers in meeting their legal obligations, particularly with regard to the clearing of deposits via a central database.
The following rules apply to packaging at the European level: Directive 94/62/EG of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 1994 on Packaging and Packaging Waste, last amended by Directive 2005/20/EG of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2005.
The aim of the directive is the harmonisation of various measures in member states that relate to packaging and packaging waste. It aims to avoid or reduce the impact of such waste on the environment while ensuring the functioning of the common market. In Germany, this European directive was implemented by the Ordinance on the Reduction and Recycling of Packaging Waste (Verpackungsverordnung –VerpackV) of 21 August 1998, last amended by the Fifth Amending Ordinance of 2 April 2008 (Federal Law Gazette, BGBl. I, p. 531).
The overall aim of the Ordinance on the Reduction and Recycling of Packaging Waste is to avoid or reduce the impact of packaging waste on the environment. In order to achieve this aim, the ordinance sets official recycling targets and includes regulations governing the return of packaging waste. The provision of the Ordinance on the Reduction and Recycling of Packaging Waste (Verpackungsverordnung –VerpackV) relating to deposit obligations for single-use drink packaging is Sec. 9.