The new Packaging Act (VerpackG) came into force on 1 January 2019. It replaces its forerunner, the Packaging Regulation (VerpackV) of 1991. Business undertakings that are subject to the act (manufacturers, dealers, online traders, importers, etc.) have an obligation to register the packaging they put on the market, i.e. packaging that typically accumulates in residential households or in so-called ‘household-like’ accumulation locations, as well as an obligation to participate in a dual system with respect to such packaging.
One of the major amendments to the law is the creation of the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (ZSVR), i.e. the German central packaging register. The ZSVR assumes an organisational and controlling function. With respect to packaging, it monitors conformance with the law with respect to the putting of packaging on the market, the taking of it back, and the high-grade recovery of it. The overriding intention of the act is to ensure the fair and transparent distribution of the costs among all participants.
The most important tasks of the ZSVR are:
- running the registration portal where manufacturers register (LUCID)
- receiving data reports from the manufacturers and systems
- reviewing the declarations of completeness and if necessary reporting to the public authorities and
- keeping a register of audits and establishing auditing directives for experts, public auditors, and certified bookkeepers.
The registration data provided by the manufacturers and the data regarding volumes and types of packaging are collected and administered by the ZSVR, as is the volume flow verifications that it receives from the systems.
For further information on the ZSVR, visit the website www.verpackungsregister.org. The How-To-Guide found there provides you with a complete overview of the new obligations and with instructions on how to register.
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.