VerpackG2 came into force in July 2021
The new law replaced the existing Packaging Ordinance (VerpackV) in 2019 and was amended in 2021. It has since incorporated two EU directives: the Single-Use Plastics Directive and the Waste Framework Directive. Since July 3, 2021, the VerpackG2 has only applied in Germany, as each country in the EU has its own legislation.
What packaging are we talking about specifically?
All packaging that is put into circulation in Germany is affected by the Packaging Act. The various types of packaging include sales packaging, outer packaging, service packaging, shipping packaging and transport packaging. Packaging is further differentiated according to where it is typically used. A distinction is made between use by private end consumers (B2C) and commercial use of the packaging (B2B). Beverage packaging takes on a special role. In addition, the material of the packaging plays a major role: paper & cardboard, plastic, glass, ferrous metal, aluminum as well as composite materials. Financial incentive systems are intended to promote the particularly ecological design of packaging subject to system participation (B2C).
Who is responsible for the packaging?
The initial distributors of B2C packaging subject to system participation, such as manufacturers, distributors and importers, must ensure nationwide take-back and recovery of the corresponding packaging waste. To this end, they are required to join a (dual) system and register with the Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (ZSVR). From July 2022, this registration obligation will apply to all manufacturers of packaging filled with goods. If manufacturers do not have a branch in Germany, they can appoint an authorized representative.
For B2B packaging, the following applies: Initial distributors and retailers (subsequent distributors) must take back similar packaging waste free of charge and ensure proper recycling. This now includes reusable packaging. End consumers must be informed about these options.
What obligations are associated with the law?
- Registration obligation: Importers and manufacturers of packaging must register with the ZSVR foundation before they are allowed to place it on the market in Germany. In addition, they must join a (dual) system for the collection and recycling of B2C packaging subject to system participation. The packaging quantities must be reported to both the packaging register and the system.
- Ensuring the take-back and recovery of packaging waste: This applies to manufacturers and subsequent distributors of B2B packaging.
- Costs: The responsible parties must finance the take-back and recovery of those packaging wastes for which they are legally responsible. To this end, B2C packaging incurs license fees that are levied on the basis of weight and material.
Violations of the packaging law in Germany can result in fines of up to €200,00. In addition, there is the threat of the skimming of profits made, claims for damages and sales bans.
Vgl. Das Verpackungsgesetz. accessed 06.08.2021