Packaging recycling has formed an integral component of everyday life in Germany for 20 years now. In daily speech, it has contributed a wide array of terms such as “product responsibility” or “initial vendors” as well as abbreviations like “M37”. Many of these terms are now commonplace for us. But do you also know what “VerpackV-Konkret” means? Or do you know what the meaning behind the term “environmental impact assessment” is?

For everyone who would like to obtain comprehensive information about the recycling of sales packaging: the popular, compact lexicon is now updated. Just take a look, and you will know - right to the point!


AGVU (Consortium for Packaging and Environment)
“AGVU” is the abbreviation for the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft Verpackung und Umwelt e.V” (Consortium for Packaging and Environment). This German association represents the interests of members in the retail sector, the consumer goods and packaging industry as well as the recycling industry in the area of environmental protection and waste recycling management. Core focus is on the packaging’s value chain.

Be it bottle caps, grill trays, covers for jogurt containers or fish cans – all of these packaging components contain aluminum or they are made out of this light metal in entirety. Used sales packaging comprised of aluminum is disposed in the yellow container/the yellow bag. All nonferrous metals such as aluminum are separated from the packaging flow in the waste sorting plants by applying the so-called eddy current technology. Aluminum can be recycled as often as needed, and this without practically any loss of quality. This can either enable the production of new packaging or the material will be applied in other sectors such as in the construction and car-making industries.

Authorized Third Parties
Manufacturers and distributors can commission third parties in order to fulfill their obligations as stipulated in the German Packaging Ordinance,. This does not exempt them from their basic legal responsibility.


Beverage carton
A beverage carton is a sales packaging made out of composite materials. Beverage cartons are comprised of cellulose pulp and plastic polyethylene (PE) for filling with liquid or pasty foodstuffs. Beverage cartons for products with longer shelf-lives such as juices are, among others, coated with a layer of aluminum. The carton’s long, tear-resistant fibers are in great demand, for example, in the paper industry. The Federal Environmental Office has classified beverage cartons as an ecologically advantageous packaging in an environmental impact assessment.

A blister is defined as a see-through packaging comprised of dimensionally stable plastic films and a back panel made out of plastics, aluminum foil or cardboard. Today, particularly tablets and toothbrushes are packaged in this way. Ever since the introduction of the packaging ordinance, numerous packaging manufacturers and fillers have eliminated the use of blisters, and have developed packaging alternatives instead.

Board is differentiated from paper and cardboard basically by the higher area-related mass (› 600 g/m2), the greater thickness and the higher physical characteristics. Since it is technically difficult and uneconomical to manufacture a sufficiently thick single-ply fleece for boards on the machine in a cycle, several thin plies are pressed on one another in a moist state. Vat machines are used for the production of “mill board”, in which the fleece formed is wound wet on a so-called forming roll, until the desired coat thickness is attained. By cutting the board cylinder, a sheet results which was previously detached by hand (mill board). As a rule “machine-made board” consists of plies of different composition, whereby the top layers usually consist of the higher quality material. Machine board is produced by pressing of several fiber fleece created at the same time on vat and/or Fourdrinier wire machines on one another. Boards are frequently named according to the raw material used, e. g. wood pulp board (from wood), grey board (from waste paper) or according to their use as e.g. carton board, roofing board, bookbinder grey board, body cardboard, decoration board. The name “solid board” differentiates “massive” boards from the corrugated board. This is multi-ply board, consisting of one or more plies of flat and corrugated paper webs glued with one another.


CIC Register
In accordance with the 5th Amending Regulation of the German Packaging Ordinance, manufacturers/distributors of sales packaging who market more than a certain quantity of packaging are obligated to submit a declaration of completeness (DoC) annually as of May 1 vis-à-vis the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK in German). For this purpose, an internet site has been established, the CIC register ( In addition to the submission of declarations of completeness, all dual systems are obligated to report the quantities registered per customer for compliance vis-à-vis the Register. A list of the companies that have met their duty to submit the DoC can be found at the aforementioned link. The enforcement authorities are continually informed on the status of DOC registrations. The dual systems bear the costs for this register.

Commercial Sources of Waste Generation
Private end consumers within the context of the German Packaging Ordinance not only include private households, but also similar sources of waste generation which are active commercially (see end consumer).

For the most part, composites are used for beverage packaging. The packaging material consists of various coats which are firmly connected with one another: Cardboard, plastic (PE barrier film) and in part aluminum.

Contaminated contents
Contaminated contents in the meaning of the German Packaging Ordinance are substances and preparations which in retail marketing are subject to the self-service prohibition according to the specifications of the German Chemicals Ordinance. Pesticides, too, are subject to restricted regulation regarding disposal Special take-back obligations apply to these contents from the German Packaging Ordinance.

Content Code
The content code dates from the 1990s and goes back to the Centrale für Coorganisation (CCG), today's GS1 Germany. The aim was to combine individual articles and product segments into higher-level product groups by means of a standardized numbering system. Occasionally, this key is still used today in merchandise management systems. You will find a list of the filling key here (sorry, available only in German).


Declaration of completeness
The declaration of completeness (DoC) is the annual confirmation by the manufacturers/distributors of the orderly participation of sales packaging in a returnable system. Since the 5th Amending Regulation of the German Packaging Ordinance has taken effect, the DOC is to be filed with the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry and applies to those who sell a certain quantity of sales packaging/year:

  • 80 tons of glass or
  • 50 tons of paper, board, cardboard or
  • 30 tons for lightweight packaging overall

A DOC can be requested by the enforcement authorities at any time from the manufacturers/distributors whose sales quantities do not exceed a certain volume threshold. When there is a violation of the duty to submit a DOC, a fine of up to 50,000 € can be imposed. The DOC must contain information on all packaging marketed in the calendar year which was destined for the private end consumer. It is to be itemized according to the type and weight of material of the respective packaging. This information is to be checked by an auditor, tax consultant, chartered accountant or independent expert. This individual must then sign the declaration of completeness electronically. The real filing then takes place via the internet domain After examination by the responsible Chamber of Commerce, the publication of company, city and zip code takes place by means of an internet platform. The enforcement authorities receive the complete data of the confirmation.

Deposit/nonreturnable beverage packaging requiring a deposit
In contrast to multi-use refillable beverage packaging, non-returnable beverage packaging is only designated for the one-time-only use as a closed packaging for liquid foodstuffs and beverages. In principle, non-returnable beverage packaging with a filling volume of 0.1 to 3 liters is – with exceptions – subject to the deposit obligation. According to the German Packaging Ordinance’s definition of this term, ecologically advantageous non-returnable beverage packaging includes beverage carton packaging, beverage polyethylene tubular bag packaging as well as flat-bottom film bags. Beverage packaging comprised of these materials is, in principle, not subject to the deposit obligation. Non-returnable beverage packaging that is not ecologically advantageous is subject to the deposit obligation depending on its specific content.

Der Grüne Punkt (The Green Dot)
The trademark “Der Grüne Punkt” is a globally registered trademark that is used in a wide array of countries. The owner of the trademark is Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD). The European umbrella organization, PRO EUROPE, is in charge of managing and protecting the Trade Mark internationally. The use of the trade mark in Germany is based on a trademark usage agreement with DSD.

Dual System
A dual system is a secondary disposal system in addition to the public waste disposal system; it is specifically set up for used sales packaging. In 1990, “Der Grüne Punkt - Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD)” was established as the pioneering compliance system that has built up the household-related, take-back system which is in place today. DSD fulfills the obligations for its customers as set forth in the German Packaging Ordinance which came into force in 1991, and which was last amended in 2008. Waste disposal services for the collection, sorting and recycling of sales packaging are financed by the participation fees. Manufacturers/distributors who do not enable their sales packaging to participate in a dual system commit an administrative offense that entails a fine and they place a cost-intensive burden on the system. Every year by no later than May 1st, the operator of a dual system is obligated to submit evidence to the Federal State Authorities regarding the collection and recycling of the packaging volumes supplied. Should obligations of the German Packaging Ordinance not be fulfilled in entirety, the Federal State Authorities of the respective state can revoke the determination of the setup. Currently, nine defined dual systems are operated in the Federal Republic of Germany (Status: 06/2010).


The eco-audit of Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD) is a voluntary study and extends beyond the annual mass flow balance as prescribed by the German Packaging Ordinance. It creates transparency regarding DSD’s qualitative contribution to the protection and safekeeping of natural resources. In addition, it shows where the system can be further optimized ecologically and economically. Therefore, it is also part of the mission of DSD GmbH. Since 2001, DSD has created an annual energy efficiency analysis and/or an eco-audit of the entire performance spectrum. The importance of the recycling of sales packaging for the climate and resource protection becomes increasingly clear.

End Consumer
According to the definition of this term, an end consumer is one who does not sell the goods which were supplied to him to another party in the respective form. Private end consumers entail private households and similar sources of waste generation - such as restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, administrative facilities, barracks, hospitals, educational institutions, charitable organizations, freelancers, typical sources of waste generation in the cultural sector, the leisure sectors - as well as agricultural enterprises and trade/handicraft businesses with waste volumes that are comparable to a household.

Energetic Recovery
In the case of energetic recovery, the waste delivered replaces the primary fuels such as oil, gas and coal. In doing so, the energetic content is deployed for heat generation or power production. Besides material recycling, energetic recovery has been an authorized recycling option for packaging plastics since 1998.

Environmental performance balance/Life-cycle assessment
Environmental balances are an aid to the preparation of environmentally-oriented decisions in the lifecycle of a product. They are used to reveal the weak spots in the life of the product, to improve the environmental features of products, to compare possible alternatives and to establish recommendation for actions. The comparison of the services involved as well as alternative behaviors in an eco-balance can also be integrated as factors to target certain product use. Environmental balances exist in the area of assessment of plastic recycling processes as well as for the comparison of disposable and reusable packaging.

EU Packaging Directive
The Directive of the European Union (EU), according to which the Member States were obligated to establish national collection and recycling systems for packaging by no later than June 30, 2001. The EU Packaging Directive, in effect as of December 20, 1994, stipulates the top priority for the handling of packaging waste to be avoidance, followed by reuse, material recycling and other forms of recycling. It sets forth the relevant measures of implementation for the Member States.

A determination by the Federal Environmental Ministries that a dual system which has been established in addition to the municipal waste industry must ensure the regular collection, sorting and recycling of used sales packaging comprehensively, in close vicinity to the end consumer, and the pre-defined quotas of the German Packaging Ordinance must be fulfilled. Only if a compliance scheme is granted this exemption is the scheme authorized to operate.


Filler is the designation of a consumer goods manufacturer. The filling industry especially relies on “high-performance” packaging. It decides on which packaging the respective product will have when it is launched on the market. Filling companies are generally the initial vendors of sales packaging which end up at private end consumers. They are subject to the participation obligation as set forth in the German Packaging Ordinance.

Companies that do not fulfill the obligation to participate in the system and whose sales packaging burdens the dual systems without contributing to its financing.


German Packaging Ordinance/Amendment to the German Packaging Ordinance
On June 12, 1991, the Ordinance on the Avoidance and Recycling of Packaging Waste originally became effective in Germany. Among other things, business and industry have since then been responsible for the redemption and material recycling of transport, outer and sales packaging and must ensure the protection and expansion of returnable systems. The goals are the avoidance, reduction and recycling of packaging recyclables. With sales packaging, business and industry are obligated to connect an area-wide and local system to their packaging for the collecting, sorting and recycling of used sales packaging. So-called dual systems such as DSD take over this responsibility for their customers in Germany. The 5th amendment to the German Packaging Ordinance was published on April 4, 2008 in the Federal Law Gazette and to a large extent became effective on 1/1/2009. The amendment includes, among other things, the following fundamental changes:

  • The initial vendor originally bears the responsibility for the implementation of the ordinance with regard to sales packaging
  • An obligation to participate in dual systems
  • An option for the participation of sales packaging in sector-specific solutions, determined for small business
  • The creation of a declaration of completeness for sales packaging

Glass is an important material for the packaging of foodstuffs. Glass recycling has a long-standing tradition in Germany. Used glass packaging is collected for recycling in containers for green, white and brown glass nationwide. The recycling volume of glass has been rising steadily since the beginning of the 70s. In 1972, around 3,500 tons of glasses were recycled – this increased significantly to 1.3 million tons recycled at the end of the 1980s. Today, this figure approximates more than 2 million tons of glass. The container glass collected ends up in a closed resource cycle, and can be recycled as often as desired. Important in this context is the right separation according to colors: alongside containers for white and brown glass, green glass containers are available for green and other colored glass. For a few years now, glass consumption has been shifting in favor of plastic bottles made out of PET. The lighter weight material is especially used ever more frequently for beverage bottles.

GVM (Society for Packaging Market Research)
The Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung mbH with headquarters in Wiesbaden develops studies on all issues that have to do with the “Packaging” theme. In the area of sales packaging, this includes, for example, scientific studies on the implementation of sector-specific solutions with quotas as well as the differentiation between sales or transport packaging. In collaboration between GVM and Cyclos GmbH, the platform was set up to provide orientation as to which packaging is defined as sales packaging in accordance with guidelines and actual practice.


Companies which import sales packaging filled with goods into the Federal Republic, are considered to be Initial Vendors and are thus subject to the regulations of the German Packaging Ordinance to the full extent from the system participation up to the delivery of the declaration of completeness.

Initial Vendors
Initial vendors are manufacturers or distributors who initially enter sales packaging for the private consumer into the market for the first time (acc. Section 6, Paragraph 1, Sentence 1 Packaging Ordinance). According to LAGA, a retailer/distributor is considered to be an initial vendor if it is exclusively labelled as the filler/manufacturer on the packaging, and if it is the owner of the trademark right.

International: take-back systems abroad
In order to implement the European Packaging Directive 94/62/EG in national legislation, all EU Member States have passed their own laws which are similar to the German Packaging Ordinance. According to the current status, the national waste/environmental legislation in four countries raises a labelling requirement for those packagings which participate in one of the take-back and recycling systems which have been approved by the respective authority.

Country  PRO-E Partner  Legal Basis
GreeceHERRCo Greek Statute 2939/2001
Article 11-12
PortugalSociedade Ponto Verde Statute DL 366-A/97 and DL 162/2000 Clarification of the labelling of primary packaging
Spain Ecoembalajes Espana Ordinance 11/97 dated
April 24, 1997, Art. 7.3
CyprusGreen Dot (Cyprus)Packaging Waste Act 32 (I) 2002 dated April 12, 2002

As members of the PRO-EUROPE organization are currently the sole providers of an officially approved system in the individual countries, the labelling obligation there is fulfilled with the trade mark “Der Grüne Punkt.”
A labelling requirement also exists under civil law in France through the participation agreement to be concluded with ECO-Emballages. In France as well, ECO-Emballages is the main provider of an authorized take-back and recycling system.

Country  PRO-E Partner Legal Basis
France ECO-Emballages   Lalonde Decree No. 92-377,
Decree regarding Commercial and Industrial Waste dated July 13, 1994,
Decree regarding Planning of the Departments dated November 18, 1996,
Decree regarding Essential Requirements dated July 20, 1998

In addition to the participation in a certified system, each of the countries listed also gives the opportunity to make use of self-compliance. In this context, comprehensive regulatory approvals must generally be obtained and strict requirements must be met. These types of packaging do not require any labelling.




The Federal/State Working Group on Waste (Die Bund/Länder-Arbeitsgemeinschaft Abfall) (LAGA) is a working group of the German Conference of Environment Ministers and was founded in 1963. Its task is ensuring the enforcement (=control) of the German Waste Legislation in the federal states as well as the development of solutions to waste management problems. (see

Lightweight packaging
Lightweight packaging (Leichtverpackungen) is sales packaging made of plastic, compounds, aluminum and tin. These are disposed of by the end consumer via the dual systems, normally in the Yellow Bin/Yellow Bag.


M37 is the Memorandum 37, a communication of the Federal/State Working Group on Waste, LAGA, entitled: “Requirements of manufacturers and distributors within the scope of the redemption of sales packaging, of the filing of the declaration of completeness as well as for the inspection of the mass flow balances by experts” of December, 2009. M37 is a guideline for the law enforcement authorities.

Mass flow balance
The annual performance record of the individual dual systems on sales packaging collected and recycled in Germany vis-à-vis the environmental ministries is known as mass flow balance. The basis for this is the German Packaging Ordinance. The mass flow balance must be presented by the system operators to the environmental ministries for the expired calendar year as of May 1st. It must show what collection quantities are targeted in individual federal states and what quantities were directed back to recycling. The basis for assessment for the nationwide material-specific recycling quota is the quantity of packaging that was brought into the respective system (=amount of participation). It is placed in relation to the quantity of sales packaging that was led back to recycling (=collection amount without impurities). Independent experts certify the correctness of the information.

Material recycling
Used packaging can be recycled materially or energetically. Recycling is divided into raw material recycling and mechanical recycling.

Mechanical recycling
Mechanical recycling is a recycling route for the manufacture of new products.

This is a common term in the waste industry (separate collection of waste) for waste that is dropped into the wrong waste collection container, e.g., plastic packaging into the bio-waste container. Taking the dual systems’ waste collection systems as an example, differentiation is made between similar material and non-similar material disposals in the wrong containers. Similar material non-packaging is understood as waste items that consist of material similar to packaging, but which are not themselves packaging, e.g., children’s toys made out of plastic. Non-similar materials packaging entails packaging that has been disposed in a waste collection container for packaging, but not in the correct one – e.g. waste paper in the yellow container for light materials such as plastics.
Waste that is incorrectly disposed in the yellow container/yellow bag must be re-sorted again in the waste sorting plants with substantial efforts and at high cost.

Mixed plastics
Mixed plastics are understood to be specified plastic fractions of mixed plastic sales packaging. Mixed plastics result from the sorting of films, PE-HD and other fractions. All recycling options (material, substantial and energetic recycling) are available for mixed plastics.


Non-returnable Beverage Packaging
In contrast to multi-use refillable beverage packaging, non-returnable beverage packaging is only designated for the one-time-only use as a closed packaging for liquid foodstuffs and beverages. In principle, non-returnable beverage packaging with a filling volume of 0.1 to 3 liters is – with exceptions – subject to the deposit obligation. According to the German Packaging Ordinance’s definition of this term, ecologically advantageous non-returnable beverage packaging includes beverage carton packaging, beverage polyethylene tubular bag packaging as well as flat-bottom film bags. Beverage packaging comprised of these materials is, in principle, not subject to the deposit obligation. Non-returnable beverage packaging that is not ecologically advantageous is subject to the deposit obligation depending on its specific content.


Obligation to Coordinate
Pursuant to the German Packaging Ordinance, dual systems must coordinate with the existing collection systems of the public waste disposal authorities. When the Duales System Deutschland GmbH was founded in 1990, several municipalities already had collection systems in place for glass and paper. The collection of recyclable materials is carried out in cooperation with the local public disposal authorities – this also explains the wide variety of municipal collection systems for recyclables.

Outer packaging
Packaging which is used as additional packaging for sales packaging and is not required for reasons of hygiene, durability or the protection of the goods from damage or contamination for delivery to the end consumer.


Packaging aids
Packaging aids in accordance with DIN 55405 are components of sales packaging. These include materials that are used for packaging and for fastening (e. g. strapping, fasteners) and for identification (e. g. labels) of packaging as well as cushioning material (e. g. air bags).

Paper is a product of mechanically or chemically exposed plant fibers which are felted in aqueous suspension with one another and – with the addition of auxiliary materials and fillers, dyestuffs or glue – processed to a sheet form. According to DIN 6730, paper is “a 2-dimensional material basically consisting of fibers mostly of vegetable origin which is formed through drainage of a fiber material suspension on a sieve”.

Single-ply paperboard is – in simplified terms – thicker paper. To produce multi-ply types of paperboard, which often consist of plies composed of different raw materials, several wet paper webs are pressed on one another (couched), so that they stick to one another without adhesive. In multi-ply folding box paperboard, the front side is coated or uncoated. In addition, there is also multi-ply paperboard, whose plies are glued to one another (glued paperboard). If the area-related mass (150 - 600 g/m2) is considered, then paperboard extends into the area of papers as well as into the area of the boards. Besides folding boxes, high-quality packaging, fine cardboard packaging, book covers, displays, paper cups as well as milk and juice packaging is also manufactured from paperboard.

The German Packaging Ordinance stipulates that all manufacturers and distributors who market sales packaging which is typically accumulated at private end consumers shall participate in a dual system in order to ensure that the packaging is taken back. Obliged parties can fulfil their legal requirements by participating e.g. in DSD’s compliance scheme (dual system). Pursuant to the German Packaging Ordinance, a fine will be imposed by the authorities in the event of a breach of the obligation to join a such a system.

Polyethylene terephtalate (PET) belongs along with the also widely distributed polycarbonate (PC) to the polyester group. The main applications for PET includes the PET bottle, which due to more economical raw material costs and primarily because of its lower weight increasingly substitutes the glass bottle. Recycled PET has food authorization in the “bottle to bottle” recycling. Another frequently represented application of PET are micro-fibers for textiles and non-woven materials. These micro-fibers are frequently gained from recycled PET nonreturnable bottles.

Placement into circulation
Relative to the German Packaging Ordinance, this designation refers to the manufacturer/distributor (= initial vendor) of a product, who delivers this for the first time together with sales packaging to a third party for the private end consumer.

Plastics is the name used for substances whose basic elements are polymers created synthetically or semi-synthetically. Through the selection of the starting material, the manufacturing process and the admixture of additives, the technical characteristics of plastic, such as formability, hardness, elasticity, breaking strength, temperature and chemical stability, vary widely. Plastics are subsequently processed into molding, semi-finished products, fibers or films. Plastics are always more popular for use as packaging materials. With regard to quantity, more than 60 percent of all packaging today consists completely or partially of plastics. Five types are predominantly used: Polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and on a small scale polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Primary packaging
Overall packaging of several packaging layers is built from the inside out. Primary packaging is that packaging which holds the content and/or is in contact with the content.

Private Brand
The German Interstate Consortium on Waste Processing (LAGA) has established that a brand refers to a private brand when the retailers (in this context, distributors such as discounters) are the owners of the brand and they are labeled as the manufacturer of the good on the packaging. If this is the case, the respective retailer is the initial distributor of the sales packaging and he is obligated to ensure that such packaging joins a dual system in accordance with the German Packaging Ordinance.

The “Packaging Recovery Organization Europe s.p.r.l.” (PRO EUROPE) with registered office in Brussels was established in 1995 for the establishment of “Der Grüne Punkt” trade mark as a uniform European trademark. Der Grüne Punkt - Duales System Deutschland GmbH has transferred the rights of use for “Der Grüne Punkt” trade mark with the exception of the Federal Republic of Germany to PRO EUROPE. It is the primary task of this organization to assign this trademark to qualified national collection and recycling systems. “Der Grüne Punkt” trade mark is used in many countries as a financing symbol for an industry financed recycling system – also beyond Europe’s borders. More information at

Product stewardship/Producer liability
The responsibility of the producers or distributors for the life cycle of a product from the development to the disposal. The waste management product stewardship for a section of the Waste Laws was introduced in Germany for the first time with the German Packaging Ordinance of 1991. In the Waste Recycling and Management Law of 1996, producer liability was defined as a basic requirement of a goal oriented recycling economy, and extended to all consumer goods. The tasks of the manufacturers also include the avoidance, recycling and disposal of the waste resulting from its product.


Raw material recycling
A recycling route, e.g. for plastics, which uses the material character of the carbon in the plastic. Raw material recycling includes methanol production and the reduction method.

Recyclable Waste
Packaging waste is recyclable waste. Used sales packaging of paper and glass as well as used lightweight packaging should be collected in recyclable waste containers (Yellow Container/Yellow Bag) of the dual systems and in this way led back as recyclables in the cycle of materials (recycling economy). In contrast to residual waste, recyclables are not disposed of in an incinerator, but led back to recycling. In this way, a valuable contribution is made to the protection of natural resources.

Recycling is understood as the return of used materials (e.g. packaging) into the cycle of materials, through the collection, sorting, refining as well as material or energetic recycling. The more packaging is recycled, the fewer valuable raw materials must be used in the manufacturing of new products.

Recycling quotas
The German Packaging Ordinance prescribes quotas for the material recycling of sales packaging. The systems must document the fulfillment of these recycling quotas in the annual mass flow balance. Since January 1, 1999, the following material-specific recycling quotas apply:

  • Glass 75 percent
  • Tin 70 percent
  • Aluminum 60 percent
  • Paper/board/cardboard 70 percent
  • Compounds/beverage cartons 60 percent
  • Plastic 60 percent

Of the 60 percent for plastics, 60 percent of material recycling is to be recycled in turn. The remaining 40 percent should be recycled mechanically, materially or energetically.

Reduction of fees
Flat-rate reductions of participation fees for sales packagings which remain in trade due to theft, loss, expiry of the sell-by date or damage, as well as due to the incomplete empyting of residues by the end consumer are not legal. (Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf, File no.: VI – U- (Kart) 15/09).

Returnable system
In the opinion of the German Federal Environment Ministry, it can be assumed that beverage packaging is reusable when the following conditions are fulfilled: The packaging must first be suitable, with a view to technical requirements, to be refilled multiple times and to be reused for the same purpose. In addition, there must be a sufficient return incentive for the consumers, which as a rule assumes the collection and refund of a deposit. In addition, logistics for redemption and for return of the bottles to the bottler must be set up, so that the packaging gets to the bottler after use and - refilled – gets back to the end consumer. In addition to the logistics, facilities for rinsing and refilling of the bottles must be installed which are suitable to deal with the usually high return flows in such systems (as a rule higher than 90 %).


Sales packaging
Sales packaging is packaging which is offered as a sales unit and ends up at the end consumer. Sales packaging is also packaging for business, catering and other service providers which enables or supports the delivery of goods to the end consumer (service packaging) as well as disposable tableware. Sales packaging fulfills important functions: It protects the product from the effects of light, temperature and moisture and guarantees the durability and the taste of the goods. In addition, it gives the user important information on contents, expiration date, source and price of the product.

Secondary raw materials
Raw materials which are retrieved through recycling and serve as source materials for new products. In this way, used packaging of glass, paper, plastic, aluminum, tin and compounds are brought back into the production process through various recycling processes. The use of secondary raw materials saves natural resources and contributes to sustainable development.

Sector-specific collection system
The obligation to join a system is not enforced for manufacturers and distributors who take back and carry out recycling for sales packaging which is put into circulation at comparable sources of waste generation. It is permissible to commission a third party without transferring the obligations pursuant to the regulatory framework. It is not mandatory that sales packaging participates in an sector-specific collection system. In the event that the take-back and recycling cannot be performed via a sector-specific collection system, the respective packaging must subsequently be registered with a dual system.
In agreement with the notification by the authorities, packaging of beverages can not be included in a sector-specific collection system.

Service packaging
Term for packaging of business, catering and other service providers which enables or supports the delivery of goods on-site to the end consumer. This includes carrier bags as well as bags for rolls, flower wrapping paper, chip trays or plastic wrap for sausage and cheese.

Small packaging
Small-scale plastic packaging can also be utilized in specified recycling processes today. As modern automatic sorting techniques can differentiate according to the material; the size of the packaging is completely irrelevant.

In sorting facilities for lightweight packaging (LWP), the packaging articles run through various stations at which a certain material fraction is sorted out from the material flow. In state-of-the-art technology, the sorting is automated as far as possible. Sorting personnel is necessary mainly for the quality control of individual fractions. The biggest facilities can sort up to 150,000 tons of lightweight packaging per year. Pressed to bales, the individual material fractions are then delivered to recycling.

Source of Waste Generation
A source of waste generation designates the place where the used packaging arises. Depending on the source of waste generation, a decision is made as to whether a packaging refers to a sales or a transport packaging. In accordance with the German Packaging Ordinance, such packaging is, among others, defined as sales packaging which is offered as a sales unit and which arises at private end consumers. Pursuant to the German Packaging Ordinance, private end consumers are households and similar sources of waste generation. Sales packaging is accumulated at private end consumers as well as at similar sources of waste generation.

Structure for Waste Collection
Within the framework of the household-related collection of sales packaging, waste collection containers are available for end consumers for lightweight packaging, paper and glass. Differentiation is made between the “pick-up” and “drop-off” systems. A pick-up system is defined as the system in which waste bins or sacks are picked up directly at the end consumer for the waste materials mentioned. On the other hand, a bottle bank placed on the curbside to which the end consumer brings the glass packaging is classified as a drop-off system.

Sustainability/sustainable development
A central concept of environmental policy is sustainable development. The term sustainability implies that natural raw materials should only be used to the extent that they can be renewed. At the same time, there should only be so many emissions as can be decomposed by nature. According to this concept, which the international community of states recognized within the scope of the 1992 Environmental Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the consumption of the current generation may not become the burden of future generations. Economic prosperity, social justice and the protection of the natural foundations of life should be brought into line with one another. The recycling economy is a central component of sustainable economies. The recycling of used materials, such as packaging, saves valuable resources and in this way contributes to sustainable development.

System participation obligation
Manufacturers and distributors who are initial vendors of sales packaging filled with goods for the private end consumer, have to participate in a dual compliance systempackage such as DSD. Distributors of service packaging can shift this duty to the pre-distributor.


Theft (Reduction of fees)
Flat-rate reductions of participation fees for sales packagings which remain in trade due to theft, loss, expiry of the sell-by date or damage, as well as due to the incomplete empyting of residues by the end consumer are not legal. (Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf, File no.: VI – U- (Kart) 15/09).

Sheet steel is a sheet produced from soft steel that is used in different thickness as thin sheet and/or tinplate. It serves, among other things, as a basic material for the manufacture of tin. Tinplate results from the application of an electrolytic or molten coating of tin. The sheet thickness lies under 0.50 mm. ECCS plates and bands (chromed steel) as well as steel and iron wires (e.g. handles) are also allocated to the tinplate material.

Transport packaging
In accordance with the German Packaging Ordinance, transport packaging is understood to be packaging which facilitates the transport of goods, protects goods in transport from damages or which are used for reasons of security of the transport and end up at the distributor.


UMK is the abbreviation for the Umweltministerkonferenz (German Conference of Environment Ministers), a conference of specialized ministers for environmental policy, with the participation of the environmental ministers and senators of the German Federation and of the states. The task of the UMK is the establishment of uniform processes in the federal states as well as positioning vis-à-vis the federal government. The decisions of the UMK are not legally binding.


Waste Avoidance
The avoidance of waste is the primary objective of the German Packaging Ordinance (VerpackV) – before reuse, recycling and disposal. With the introduction of the German Packaging Ordinance, product responsibility was transferred to the manufacturers and distributors. This responsibility will be extended to consumer goods and durable goods in the Recycling and Waste Management Act. Waste can, for example, be avoided by means of a more efficient use of materials in production or by collecting, sorting and recycling used materials. Materials flow back into the production cycle thanks to the recycling of used sales packaging. In this way, raw materials can be saved and emissions reduced. The launch of the Duales System for packaging recycling in 1990 made companies that produce and distribute packaging much more aware of product responsibility and waste avoidance: the lowest possible material costs, modifications to the material composition, the use of materials designed of being recycled, avoiding outer packaging as well as the use of refill packaging have all gained in importance since the enforcement of the German Packaging Ordinance. Nevertheless, the challenge must still be mastered to bring the frequently differing objectives in this regard into harmony between marketing, sales, and sustainability guidelines.

Waste Disposal Partners
Waste disposal partners entail specialized companies which perform waste management services on behalf of the dual compliance systems. They pick the sales packaging up at or in the vicinity of the end consumer, and they bring the collected packaging to the waste sorting plants. The waste disposal industry has undergone fundamental change ever since the operational startup of the dual system: traditional garbage collection enterprises have transformed into highly specialized companies with state-of-the-art logistics and sorting technology. In this way, several new job profiles were created.

Waste for Disposal
Waste for disposal or residual waste is not recycled. The Recycling and Waste Management Act that came into force in 1996 differentiates between waste for recycling and waste for disposal. This law stipulates the following ranking: avoidance before recycling, and recycling before disposal for waste of all types. As a rule, waste for disposal is subject to a notification obligation in the municipalities.

Waste for Recycling
Waste for recycling is waste which can be recycled. The term “Waste for Recycling” was introduced in the Recycling and Waste Management Act of 1996. The main terms of the EU Packaging Directive regarding waste from 1994 were incorporated into German law with the differentiation between waste for recycling and waste for disposal. Differentiation is made between energetic recovery, raw materials and work materials recycling.


Yellow bin/Yellow bag
The dual systems offer various collection systems for the household-related collection of sales packaging. Lightweight packaging comprised of plastics, aluminum, tinplate and composite materials are mainly collected within the municipalities in the yellow container or respectively in the yellow bag. The household-related collection was built up in Germany by Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH. Today, other dual systems can make use of this collection structure. The specific collection system in the individual regions is dependent on the agreements reached with these municipalities as well as on the structures already in place.

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