German deposit on disposable beverage containers to be extended

The German cabinet has approved an amendment to the German Packaging Act. The first regulations are to take effect from 2022 with the mandatory deposit on all beverage bottles made of disposable plastic and beverage cans.

News Bild [Translate to Englisch:] Pfand auf Einweggetränkeverpackungen soll ausgeweitet werden

From 2022, a deposit will be mandatory on all non-refillable plastic beverage bottles and cans in Germany. Previous exemptions for fruit juices or mixed alcoholic beverages in cans or single-use plastic bottles will be abolished. However, there is a transitional period for milk or milk products until 2024. This is planned as a result of an amendment to the German Packaging Act, which the German Cabinet has approved.

From 2023, everyone who loves on-the-go food and to-go drinks will have a choice: restaurants, cafés, bistros, snack bars that sell such products will also have to offer them to their customers in reusable packaging, which, incidentally, must not be more expensive than the disposable version. And reusable cups must be available for all sizes of to-go beverage offered. Establishments with a maximum of five employees and a store area of no more than 80 square meters are exempt from the regulation.

Here, however, customers can then have their own reusable containers filled.


From 2025, the minimum recycled content of 25 percent will apply for the first time to non-refillable PET beverage bottles; from 2030, all non-refillable plastic bottles must then contain at least 30 percent recycled plastic. However, manufacturers can decide whether they want to meet this quota per bottle or in relation to total annual bottle production.


And the amendment also takes action against freeloaders and participation refusers in online trade. In the future, anyone who operates online marketplaces or acts as a fulfillment service provider in Germany must check that the manufacturers of packaged goods on the respective platform are registered in the LUCID packaging register of the central office and behave in a manner that complies with the Packaging Act.  

Following the decision in the Federal Cabinet, the amendment will soon be passed by the Bundestag (Federal Parliament), and finally it will have to pass the Federal Council.