Commission warns Germany over its recycling scheme

On 23 July, the Commission asked Germany to suspend its system of charging a deposit on metal cans to encourage recycling but refrained from taking immediate legal action against Berlin.

The German recycling scheme forces consumers to leave a deposit for every non-refillable container they buy - essentially beverage cans and one-way plastic bottles - which can then be reclaimed when the packaging is taken back to the store where it was bought for recycling. The German beer and soft drinks sector suffers from this scheme as some retailers stopped selling the one-way containers to avod the cost of installing the system.

The Commission is concerned about the impact of the scheme on the free movement of goods. It considers that since few recycling points are installed for the moment, consumers are restricted as to where they can recycle their cans.

The Commission requested Germany to stop the scheme by October 1 and replace it with a system complying with EU rules.


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