The new packaging law (VerpackG) will enter into force on 1st January 2019 and replace the currently valid packaging regulation. Individual transitional provisions already came into effect on 13th July 2017. The packaging law regulates the circulation, return and recycling of packaging. The aim of the law is to promote recycling and prevent packaging waste as well as to develop the documentation obligations of companies in order to create more transparency.
In this context, the law has clarified and tightened up the packaging definition. This means that in addition to service and shipping packaging, outer packaging is now also considered as sales packaging which contains a certain number of sales units and is usually offered to the consumer together with the sales units. This packaging must now also be licensed through a return system. This mandatory participation always applies to the initial distributor. There is still no mandatory participation for transport packaging since this is not passed on to the consumer. Shipping/despatch packaging of the mail order business continues to be licensed.
Manufacturers of packaging with mandatory system participation must in future register at the so-called ”central office” (similar foundations have also been set up for e.g. batteries and electrical equipment) before the packaging is initially brought into circulation. The manufacturing register will be published on the Internet and publicly accessible. The aim is to increase transparency and prevent non-compliance with system participation of individual distributors. In future, manufacturers will also be obliged to forward details relating to system participation as soon as possible to the central office. This is to provide it with an overview of the developments in packaging quantities. Those companies affected which bring packaging into circulation with their products should therefore look into the raised level of requirements in good time.
Furthermore, VerpackG is tightening the recycling rates for industry and trade through an adjustment of the material-specific recycling rates to the current status of technology and the introduction of an additional second recycling rate. This recycling rate refers to all waste collected by the systems in the yellow bin or yellow sack and therefore stands apart from system participation. In addition, the return systems will be obliged to report their licensed packaging to the central office enabling it to compare this with the manufacturer’s particulars. Moreover, the return systems will also be obliged to calculate the amount of their participation fees according to ecological criteria. Here, the focus is to be primarily on the recyclability of packaging as well as the use of recyclates and renewable raw materials in production.
The new law decrees that final distributors of beverage packaging must, in future, provide clearly visible and readable signs in the immediate vicinity of the packaging, stating whether the beverage packaging is disposable or reusable. This reference requirement is intended to help consumers in making matters clearer for them. In addition, the VerpackG extends the mandatory deposit for one-way beverage packaging onto fruit and vegetable nectars with carbonic acid and onto mixed drinks containing dairy products.
Your contact at Arqum: Dr. Susanne Schliehe-Diecks