According to the Commission, the German deposit and return system for non-refillable drinks packaging restricts imports from foreign producers and is therefore not in line with internal market rules.
On 21 October, the Commission decided to send Germany a formal request for more information on this packaging deposit system. It does not contest the principle of setting up the system which, it states, “can be beneficial for environmental protection objectives”.
The Commission objects to the German system for two major reasons:
- there is no “properly functioning nationwide return system allowing consumers to return such one-way packaging to any point of sale to recover the deposits paid”;
- and “the current system encourages the development of specific packaging, as some retailers try to reduce the scope of their legal obligation to take back used packaging and refund deposits”.