Certain non-returnable beverage packages are in Germany subject to mandatory deposits


In Germany, many disposable drinks containers have only been allowed to be sold with a deposit since 2003. This now applies to disposable packaging for practically all drinks. In 2022, the exceptions for fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and alcoholic mixed drinks were abolished and, since 2024, a deposit has also been charged on single-use packaging for milk and mixed milk drinks and other drinkable milk products.


The deposit system in overview


In the deposit system, companies can assume two different positions. Anyone who puts into circulation for the first time a beverage package subject to a mandatory deposit becomes the deposit account manager. The deposit is retained and managed by the initial distributor – i.e. the producers, bottlers/canners or importers. The party taking back the empties automatically becomes the claimant, since he has handed over the deposit money to the consumer. At deposit clearing, settlement is assured between the deposit account manager and the claimant.


As a distributor, you will be faced with a number of new tasks: you will have to collect, manage and pay out deposits, label your containers and comply with the regulations of DPG Deutsche Pfandsystem GmbH and the legal requirements. We support you throughout the entire process – from registration to implementation.

If you would like some non-binding consultancy, feel free to get in touch with!

Martin Lausmann

Telephone +49 2203 937181


Legal regulations on deposit return

Mandatory deposits apply to all beverage packages measuring between 0.1 and 3 liters. The only exceptions are ecologically advantageous non-returnable beverage packages. This category includes beverage cartons, beverage polyethylene pillow pouches, plus film stand-up pouches. All other non-returnable containers for beverages are subject to a mandatory deposit. The deposit is also levied when packages are sold among dealers, and is passed on through all stages of trading as far as the private consumer. Packages that are subject to a mandatory deposit must be designated as such. Anyone putting these non-returnable beverage packages into circulation is also obligated to take back the empties.


From deposit registration to deposit conversion – we will be happy to help you.