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from Janine

7 facts about the new packaging law

The new Packaging Act has been in force since January 2019, replacing the Packaging Ordinance. The new law is intended to encourage manufacturers to switch to more recyclable packaging in order to further increase the recycling rate in Germany. Only 36% of plastics in particular are currently recycled. This rate is to be increased to 63% by 2020.
What impact does the new law have on companies and what do they need to bear in mind? Here are 7 facts you should know:

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Manufacturers and companies must register

All manufacturers and companies that use packaging that accumulates as waste at the end consumer. They must register with the new Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR) on the LUCID platform. Data is collected here on how much and which packaging material is put into circulation by the manufacturer.
Without registration, products packaged in materials subject to registration, such as cardboard boxes, polystyrene, etc., may not be placed on the market. Fines of up to 200,000 euros may be imposed.

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Licensing requirement for a great deal of packaging

There is a licensing requirement for all sales and shipping packaging that must be disposed of by the end consumer.
Beverage packaging for returnable and non-returnable containers, which are covered by the deposit system, are not subject to licensing. As well as contract documents, letters and packaging that do not accumulate as waste in Germany (e.g. during export).

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Participation in the dual system is mandatory

Dual systems are companies that organize the collection, sorting and recycling of sales packaging. Manufacturers who put packaging subject to licensing into circulation must participate in a dual system (participation obligation).
Registration with the ZSVR is not possible without system participation.

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Annual declaration of completeness must be submitted

All sales packaging put into circulation in the previous calendar year must be stated in the declaration of completeness by May 15. Manufacturers who have placed less than 80,000 kg of glass, 50,000 kg of paper, cardboard and paperboard or 30,000 kg of packaging made of aluminum, iron, beverage cartons or other composite packaging on the market are exempt.

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Recyclable packaging saves costs

The dual systems reward recycling-friendly packaging with lower license fees. The aim is to encourage manufacturers and companies to use packaging made from recycled materials, renewable raw materials or packaging that is particularly easy to recycle.

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New deposit regulations and information obligations

The deposit requirement was extended from January 2019. Carbonated fruit and vegetable nectars and mixed drinks with at least 50% milk content (whey) in disposable packaging are now subject to a deposit, alongside bottles for water, beer, soft drinks and alcoholic mixed drinks. Beverage cartons, tubular and stand-up pouch packaging as well as spirits and wine bottles are excluded from the deposit requirement.
In addition, retailers must clearly indicate to the end consumer whether beverage packaging that is subject to the deposit requirement is disposable or reusable.

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The Central Agency Packaging Register is a supervisory body

It monitors that manufacturers and companies take responsibility for the packaging they put into circulation. The ZSVR reports violations to the respective enforcement authorities. Transparency is to be created with the publicly accessible LUCID database, where consumers can also see which company is responsible for waste disposal.
In addition, the ZSVR works with the Federal Environment Agency every year to develop a minimum standard for recyclable packaging, which is intended to serve as a guide for the dual systems when calculating license fees.


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