ALL ABOUT THE
The German Packaging Act (Verpackungsgesetz, VerpackG) came into effect on 1 January 2019, thereby replacing the former German Packaging Ordinance. Since then, business undertakings that are subject to mandatory participation in a disposal system must first register with the Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR). After this, they must have any packaging that typically accumulates in private households or in accumulation sites similar to private households licensed with a dual system.
The creation of the Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR) was one of the biggest changes that came with the enactment of the Packaging Act. It operates in the form of a foundation under German civil law and performs both organisational and monitoring functions. This is meant to ensure that the placing on the market of packaging subject to mandatory participation in a disposal system and the returning and high-grade recovering of it are carried out in conformity with the law.
Among the fundamental duties of the Central Agency Packaging Register (ZSVR) are:
- provision/operation of the online portal for registration of manufacturers (LUCID),
- receipt, collection, and administration of data reports from the manufacturers and the systems,
- reviewing the declarations of completeness and if necessary reporting to the public authorities,
- keeping a register of audits and establishing auditing directives for experts, public auditors, and certified bookkeepers,
- developing and publicising minimum standards for assessing the recyclability of packaging.
Additional information on the Central Agency Packaging Register is available at www.verpackungsregister.org.
THE MOST IMPORTANT
The reduction or complete prevention of the impacts of packaging waste on the environment through the recycling and avoidance of packaging waste are the most important objectives of the new Packaging Act (VerpackG).
The new act also prescribes significant increases to the recycling quotas that the systems must fulfil for all categories of materials. These increases will be effected in two steps commencing in 2019 and 2022.
The act also expands the area of mandatory deposits (on beverage containers). Mixed beverages containing at least 50 per cent whey and non-refillable beverage packaging containing carbonated fruit and vegetable nectars may only be sold in future with a 25-cent deposit. The traders are requested to clearly designate non-refillable and refillable products with their respective designations on the shelves in order to ensure more transparency.
The Packaging Act 2019 is intended to expedite the use of ecologically beneficial and recyclable packaging by making manufacturers and traders more responsible for their packaging. In the long term, the calculation of the participation fees is to be oriented along ecological factors. This – in addition to the conserving of non-renewable resources – is the goal of the Packaging Act 2019. Similar incentive systems must form part of the performance specifications of the dual systems.
ACT AT A GLANCE
In short, we would like to show you the most important changes and obligations under the Packaging Act.
- There are basically no changes to the waste disposal obligation (obligation to participate in a system) in comparison to the obligation contained in the former Packaging Regulation (VerpackV). The party regarded by the law to be the first to put B2C filled-packaging on the market is the party with the obligation to license the packaging material.
- The ZSVR was created for monitoring compliance with the law. The ZSVR keeps a public register in which those parties with the licensing obligation must, as a rule, register themselves. A variety of reports must also be made to the ZSVR.
- The products of companies/brands that have not been properly registered may no longer be sold in Germany. The following requirements must be fulfilled:
- a) Brands and manufacturers must be registered with the ZSVR.
- b) The packaging material has been licensed by a dual system
- (e.g. Dual System Zentek).
- Each report made in connection with the participation in a system must also be communicated promptly to the ZSVR via the reporting portal LUCID.
Your new obligations, as well as those obligations that have not changed, are spelled out in plain terms and using graphic depictions in four films produced by the ZSVR. The ZSVR’s task areas as well as your obligations as the first party to put product packaging on the market are clearly explained.