Germany’s Green Dot company under EU fire

Commission condemns German “Green Dot” company for abuse of dominant position in market for collection and recycling of sales packaging

According to the Commission, DSD charges a full fee for its Green Dot trademark even in cases where it provides no service, because the collection and recycling is carried out by competitors. The Commission stresses that it does not call into question the Green Dot system itself and urges the company to take the necessary measures to end its abusive behaviour.

Duales System reacted angrily to the Commission’s decision. In a press release, the company calls the decision “removed from reality”, and a “massive attack on the trademarks of Duales System and lastly an invitation for the abuse of the Green Dot”.


The European Commission condemned German "Green Dot" company DSD for abuse of its dominant position in the market for collection and recycling of sales packaging on Friday 20 April 2001. The German company will appeal the decision at the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg.


Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD) is a German joint enterprise founded in 1990 by several industry sectors, which operates a unified, nation-wide system of collecting packaging waste. The company is responsible for running the "Grüne Punkt" (Green Dot) recycling trademark in Germany. Under the German Packaging Ordinance of 1991, DSD is the only undertaking which operates a comprehensive system for the collection and recycling of sales packaging.

In 1992, DSD notified the Commission about a number of agreements with a view to obtaining an exemption decision. The Commission published the DSD notification in March 1997. Since then, 13 companies from the cosmetics and electronic industries (among them L'Oréal, Wella, Schwarzkopf and Philips) officially complained about the DSD licensing practices. These companies want to process some of their waste through another recycling company.


DSD will take the case to the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg and will ask for the implementation of the ruling to be deferred.


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