Sales packaging in its diversity holds great potential for being returned to the material cycle through recycling. The German Packaging Act (VerpackG), which replaced the German Packaging Ordinance (VerpackV) in 2019, also provides for this material recycling for the vast majority of sales packaging. Manufacturers and other distributors (or dealers) are obliged to participate in a dual system for their sales packaging - commonly known as "sales packaging licensing" or "packaging licensing".
In their sheer diversity, sales packages have an inherently magnificent potential for being recycled and fed back into the circular economy. The German Packaging Act (VerpackG) also specifies this material recycling for the vast majority of sales packages. Companies are obligated to participate in a dual system with the sales packages they have issued – often mentioned as "packaging license". Der Grüne Punkt supports you in meeting the obligations for your business, shop or online shop under the German Packaging Act (VerpackG). We handle the disposal and recycling processes for all packages with which you participate in our dual system.
According to this, manufacturers, distributors or online retailers must participate in a German dual system such as the Green Dot for those packaging quantities that they expect to place on the German market in a year. To do so, they must report the registration number assigned to them by LUCID to their dual system. This enables the ZSVR to exchange and reconcile information between the data provided by the obligated party and the assigned dual system.
Participation in the Green Dot license calculator is very simple:
- Enter the expected annual quantity per material and have the annual fee calculated,
- enter company data,
- select payment method and conclude contract.
If manufacturers, distributors or online retailers have concluded a participation agreement with a German dual system, e.g. the Green Dot, they must regularly enter in LUCID both the name of the dual system and the quantity reported there.
This applies in particular to the year-end report: At the beginning of the following year manufacturers, distributors and online retailers have to submit a quantity report on the packaging quantities actually put into circulation to their dual system and store the same information in the LUCID database. With the dual system Der Grüne Punkt, this year-end report can be completed online in just a few steps.
The Central Packaging Register (ZSVR) was introduced by the German Packaging Act (VerpackG). Its purpose is to check whether the requirements of the Packaging Act are being complied with. Manufacturers, traders and online retailers who place packaging for private end use on the German market must
- register in the LUCID register of the ZSVR,
- estimate the quantities of packaging they will place on the German market in a given year and submit these planned quantities to a dual system in Germany such as the Green Dot,
- also report their data regarding the quantities reported to one or more dual systems to the ZSVR in the same way.
- The LUCID registration number is communicated by manufacturers, distributors and online retailers to their dual system so that the data reconciliation works.
Packaging can take a wide variety of forms and be made of a wide variety of materials. The German Packaging Act contains comprehensive regulations and definitions for the different types of packaging.
The Packaging Act does not recognize any trivial limits: Those affected must already become active from the first packaging placed on the market and take care of the licensing of their packaging.
Der Grüne Punkt provides information here on the various types of packaging that are subject to system participation.
Which packaging is subject to system participation?
The Central Packaging Registry (ZSVR), which was set up in the Packaging Act, has published a system participation requirement catalogue, which shows which packaging the ZSVR considers to be subject to system participation. If you cannot find your packaging in the catalogue, you can submit a corresponding application for classification to the ZSVR.
Sales packaging is typically offered to private end consumers filled with goods. Private end consumers include not only private households, but also hotels, restaurants, and other catering establishments, hospitals, educational institutions, and freelancers, as well as, to some extent, craft businesses, agricultural enterprises, and numerous other establishments. The term "sales packaging" as defined in the German Packaging Act includes the following types of packaging.
Product packaging directly surrounds the goods. They perform important functions such as product protection and product information, and in many cases they also support the shelf life of a product. Examples include the yogurt pot, the toothpaste tube, the vegetable jar, the wine or ketchup bottle, cosmetics and care products, but also the honey jar from the beekeeper. Product packaging is part of the packaging that is subject to system participation and must be licensed with a dual system such as the Green Dot.
Outer packaging is additional packaging that wraps product packaging. For example, as a film around beverage cans and the bottle six-pack or as a cardboard tray, they reinforce the protection of the goods and facilitate transport for the buyer. Offered for sale as a complete sales unit, outer packaging must also be licensed with a dual system such as the Green Dot in accordance with the Packaging Act.
Service packaging is only filled when a product is purchased in the store. The carrier bag is just as much service packaging as roll bags, floral paper, pizza boxes, disposable tableware, to-go cups, etc. A packaging license must also be concluded with a dual system such as the Green Dot in order to place service packaging on the market.
Important to know:
- The system participation obligation can be handed over to the pre-distributor of the service packaging.
- If this is the case, the final distributor of the service packaging, i.e. the person who fills it and hands it over to end consumers, should have this confirmed. This is because the final distributor must, as of
- July 1, 2022, the final distributor must register in the LUCID register of the Central Packaging Register. This also applies if the previous distributor of the service packaging has already taken over its licensing.
This topic is particularly important for operators of online stores. Packaging in which goods are shipped to private end consumers in Germany counts as packaging subject to system participation. This means that they must be involved in a collection, recovery and recycling system such as the Green Dot. This applies to both sales and outer packaging as well as shipping packaging, e.g.
- shipping bags with or without air cushioning,
- other envelopes,
- shipping cartons,
- Filling material such as polystyrene chips,
- cushioning cardboard or air bubble packs,
- tissue paper,
- stretch films,
- air bubble films,
- foam foils,
- parcel tape,
- delivery bags,
- strapping tapes or
- corrugated cardboard.
For online retailers or online retailers on electronic marketplaces, Green Dot has prepared further important information in the find-out tool, e.g. on the question of what must be observed under the Packaging Act from July 1, 2022.
Important to know:
Since January 1, 2022,extended verification and documentation obligations apply to all packaging not subject to system participation, such as transport packaging, in accordance with Section 15 of the German Packaging Act. For this purpose, the packaging placed on the market in the previous calendar year (in our opinion for the first time for 2022) as well as packaging taken back and recovered must be documented annually by May 15 in verifiable form, broken down by material type and mass, and submitted to the competent state authority upon request.
As of July 1, 2022, the Packaging Act requires that initial distributors also register transport and industrial packaging once in LUCID. No information on the packaging materials used or the quantities is requested. The legislator is only concerned with achieving transparency about who is placing which types of packaging on the market.
The German Packaging Act
If I, as a manufacturer, distributor or online retailer, sell commercially to private end consumers, fill packaging for the first time (including shipping or service packaging subject to system participation) and place it on the market in Germany, I am considered a "manufacturer" under the German Packaging Act and am therefore obliged to participate in a dual system, such as Der Grüne Punkt, for the packaging. The same applies if I import goods from abroad for resale in Germany.
The German Packaging Act is in force
As from 1 January 2019, the German Packaging Act (VerpackG) has replaced the German Packaging Ordinance. The act contains some new regulations and duties or their modification. To enable you to stay on top of these issues surrounding the new law, we have summarized the most important information here.
The German Packaging Act has far-reaching implications for manufacturers, distributors and online retailers. It is mandatory, for example, if the online retailer packages its goods itself or imports packaged goods and sells them to private end consumers via electronic marketplaces in Germany. In this case, both the actual packaging of the products themselves and the additional shipping packaging used, such as cardboard boxes or plastic bags including filling material, are subject to the provisions of the Packaging Act.
Private end users are not only private households, but also hotels, restaurants and other catering establishments, hospitals, educational institutions and freelancers as well as, to some extent, craft businesses, agricultural enterprises and numerous other establishments. The ZSVR's system participation requirement catalogue provides information on which packaging is subject to system participation.
We will be happy to advise you on this, and by concluding our trademark usage contract at low cost, you can also use the well-known and renowned trademark "Der Grüne Punkt" on your packaging. In this way, you not only benefit from the high brand recognition of Der Grüne Punkt, but also set a sustainable example to your customers. After all, there is no other brand that consumers associate so much with environmental protection through recycling – and in the future, your brand can stand for this, too. Secure all the benefits of Green Dot for your brand now.
Issuing the legally compliant packaging license
With the packaging license, you are participating in the dual system of Der Grüne Punkt, the prestigious and most experienced provider in Germany.
Access to a user-friendly online service
You will be given access to our practical reporting scheme, under which you can process all the formalities involved in your packaging license with time-saving efficiency.
Using the Der Grüne Punkt trademark
By concluding our trademark utilization contract, you receive the right to use the internationally recognized trademark for the German market.
Disposal service for packages
We will be pleased to provide you with transparent advice on our comprehensive recycling solutions, and will gladly submit the appropriate non-binding quotations.
Participate in our dual system in order to fulfill your obligations from the new German Packaging Act 2019. In addition, the trademark utilization contract allows you to label your sales packaging with the well-known trademark “Der Grüne Punkt”. Since 1990 “Der Grüne Punkt” has been symbolizing producers´ responsibility.
Our user-friendly online service makes it easy for you to manage all data concerning your packaging license. Save time by accessing everything you need for licensing your sales packaging and declaring your packaging amounts online!
The most important advantage of our Dual system offers you is the timely and professional and disposal of your packaging. Whether transport packaging, secondary packaging or sales packaging, we offer solutions for the recovery, disposal and recycling.
You export your products to other EU countries? Then you should know the respective guidelines for packaging licensing. We are one of the founders of PRO Europe umbrella organization where systems of collection and recovering packages have joined forces to support producers in fullfilling national legal requirements. They will be pleased to provide advice and practical assistance.