Der Grüne Punkt - 02. August 2017

Der Grüne Punkt, BellandVision and Interseroh are terminating their clearing agreements, and with new agreements are taking the initiative for assuring product responsibility

Some systems are repeatedly failing to meet their obligations / New clearing agreements ensure fair competition and an equitable transition to the German Packaging Act

Cologne, Pegnitz, 2 August 2017. The licensed quantities reported by the dual systems to their clearing center for glass, paper, board and cartons and for lightweight packaging during the year 2016 lie once again, and more significantly than hitherto feared, below the figures of the filing office of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK).

The difference comes to around 210,000 tons. This corresponds to a loss of up to 60 million euros. It has thus been confirmed that some market players are continuing to evade their duties or are purposefully exploiting loopholes. Seemingly, some system operators are deliberately understating their market shares, so as to minimize the amount of costs they have to pay for collecting and recovering the packaging involved. For example, they are not reporting dual package quantities to the clearing center or are redesignating them. Nevertheless, they are pocketing license fees from manufacturers or retailing companies. This behavior enables them to obtain an impermissible cost advantage over honest competitors and their customers.

To quote Michael Wiener, CEO of Der Grüne Punkt: “As the most recently announced figures show, the brazen trickery employed by some dual systems re-occurred in 2016. The appeals from both the business community and the politicians, plus the regulations enacted by the German states, are here being irresponsibly ignored. Manifestly, certain players are attempting to once again seriously exploit the transitional phase until the German Packaging Act comes into force in 2019. On this basis, trust-driven collaboration in the clearing center of the dual systems is no longer possible.”

Der Grüne Punkt, BellandVision GmbH and INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH, who together account for a market share of just under 65 percent, have for this reason terminated the current agreements with the members of the clearing center, and together formulated and signed new, secure and more efficient clearing agreements. This ordinary termination comes into force effective 31 December 2017. The new clearing agreements will make fair competition possible as from 2018, and regulate the requisite transitions until the German Packaging Act comes into force, and the central agency packaging regulation begins its work. These agreements are designed to ensure that packages are reported and accounted for in their entirety.

“We must not permit a few black sheep to harm the established dual system, so exemplary in an international context, and benefit at the expense of the many reputable companies, but also to the detriment of the natural environment and the consumers,” concur Michael Wiener and the General Managers of the two other dual systems involved.

Each dual system can likewise still terminate its old agreements up to 31 August 2017, and enter into the new clearing agreements. This initiative will ensure quantitative dependability, fair competition and an orderly transition into the provisions of the German Packaging Act.

On 1 January 2019, the German Packaging Act will come into force. It specifies the establishment of a central agency for monitoring and regulating the market players involved. Experts expect the new legal foundations to create significantly enhanced discipline in the system, and strengthen its enforcement. The central agency will already be checking the quantities for 2018, and will take action in response to any irregularities.

Background:

Since 1991, the industrial and retailing sectors in Germany have under the country’s Packaging Ordinance been legally obligated to ensure take-back and recovery of the packages they have produced and sold by participating in a dual system.

Nowadays, the dual system for collecting and recovering packages consists of ten system operators in all. Manufacturers and retailers register with these operators their participation for the packaging they put into circulation. The participation fee depends on the nature and weight of the packaging materials being used. In return for this license fee, the system operator organizes and finances the disposal and recovery of the packages concerned.

Dual system operators are obligated to report the package quantities participating with them to what is called the clearing office for cost participation and to the DIHK. Manufacturers and retailers report the packages they have put into circulation to a filing office of the DIHK. The governmental authorities check only the DIHK’s figures. Up to now, there have been no governmental checks or reconciliations of the systems’ reports to the clearing office and the DIHK.

With the German Packaging Act, which comes into force on 1 January 2019, the system will be simplified: all market players involved (systems and initial distributors) will from then on be obligated to report their package quantities to the newly created central agency so that all data can be comprehensively checked and reconciled there at a single point.

Your contact person:
Norbert Völl, Tel.: +49 (0) 22 03 / 937-507

About the Der Grüne Punkt Group:
The companies of Der Grüne Punkt are as service providers for extended producer responsibility, as a leading supplier of secondary raw materials for plastics, and as a premium producer of plastic recyclates, the premier solution provider for the needs of the closed-cycle economy. Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD) is the market leader of the dual system in Germany, and stands for intelligent take-back systems, plus the development and marketing of innovative recyclates and services. Systec Plastics, at its facilities in Eisfeld and Hörstel, produces premium-quality recyclates under the Systalen brandname for the international market. The companies are grouped together in DSD – Duales System Holding GmbH & Co. KG.