New legislation for a private-sector and competition-neutral solution for effective incentivization under Section 21 of the German Packaging Act (VerpackG)

Packages for sweets should be recyclable (Photo: Pixabay)

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17 June 2021 – According to § 21 (1) of the current VerpackG, the dual systems are obliged to create incentives for manufacturers to place ecologically beneficial packaging on the market. However, according to the results of the UBA research project evaluating the effectiveness of Section 21 (1) VerpackG, there are problems inherent in the system when it comes to setting incentives. Against this background, competition-neutral fund model variants are currently being discussed and market players are being invited by the Federal Environment Agency to submit further alternatives. In the interest of an effective implementation of § 21 (1) VerpackG, the dual systems jointly advocate a new legal regulation of a privately organized and competition-neutral model that builds on already established structures and processes.


Recyclable packaging design and the use of recyclates in packaging are important prerequisites for achieving the increasing recycling quotas according to the Packaging Act, saving even more resources through packaging recycling and further reducing the emission of climate-damaging CO2 gases. These interrelationships have already been taken into account in the current Packaging Act and the dual systems have been obliged to include ecological criteria of packaging design in the assessment of participation fees. After more than two years of the Packaging Act, the Federal Environment Agency is reviewing the effectiveness to date and future possibilities for further developing Section 21 of the Packaging Act as part of a research project. The result is clear for the systems: a new regulation of § 21 VerpackG for a functioning private-sector and competition-neutral solution is unavoidable.


Competition-neutral solution for the dual systems


As central market players in the environmental service branch in Germany, the dual systems see it as their responsibility to work together to promote a solution that achieves the greatest possible ecological incentive effect while at the same time taking into account the interests of private-sector stakeholders. This is because a possible legal amendment to Section 21 of the Packaging Act will have a direct impact on the cost burden for distributors as well as on the market and competition among the dual systems.
The incentive model of the dual systems to be introduced in the legislative process includes all material fractions equally - only packaging that is highly recyclable is excluded from the payment of fixed (identical for all systems) surcharges per fraction. For efficient and simple processing, use is made of established reporting and billing processes that already exist between obligated parties and dual systems. In this way, redundant costs can be avoided, which ultimately counteract the actual incentive effect. Placing the incentive model under the responsibility of the dual systems is also conclusive in that they have a great interest in ensuring that incentives under Section 21 of the Packaging Act have their maximum effect when it comes to meeting recycling quotas. This model would continue the functional division of operational implementation (manufacturers and dual systems) and control obligations (central body) enshrined in the Act. Transparent, earmarked promotion of measures within the meaning of Section 21 of the Packaging Act.


The promotion of the objectives already formulated in the current Packaging Act and its explanatory memorandum for closing material cycles is pursued with the possible new model of dual systems to be anchored in law. The funds collected would be distributed in particular for measures and initiatives aimed at recyclable packaging design, the use of recycled materials in packaging and consumer information. In addition, innovation and investment incentives are to be created in the circular economy. To ensure competitive neutrality, the future model outlined provides for the accreditation and monitoring of eligible projects by a competition-neutral body or committee (e.g. BMU, UBA or ZSVR). The funds will be managed in an insolvency-proof manner and disbursed on a mandatory basis over a defined period of time.



BellandVision GmbH: Diana Uschkoreit, Phone: +49 (0)9241 4832225,,


Der Grüne Punkt - Duales System Deutschland GmbH: Norbert Völl, Tel.: +49 (0)2203 937507,,


EKO-PUNKT GmbH & Co. KG: Anna Ephan, Tel.: +49 (0)2306 106871,,


INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH: Dr. Jan Hendrik Kempkes, +49 (0)2203 91471300,,


Landbell AG for retrieval systems: Dr. Raffaela David, Tel.: +49 (0)6131 235652424,,


NOVENTIZ Dual GmbH: Dirk Boxhammer, Tel.: +49 (0)221 80015870,,


PreZero Dual GmbH: +49 (0)7132 30773255,,


Reclay Systems GmbH: Jens Nießmann, Tel.: +49 (0)221 58009850;,


Recycling Dual GmbH: Sarah Wickerath-Teufel, Tel: +49 (0)2161 9462703, sarah.wickerath-, www.


Veolia Umweltservice Dual GmbH: Andreas Jensvold, Tel.: +49 (0)40 78101824,,


ZENTEK GmbH & Co. KG: Irene Wohlmannstetter, Tel.: +49 (0)2203 8987145,,