3 steps what to do now
Below we have summarized in 3 steps what companies must now do to properly implement the Packaging Directive. Companies can also find comprehensive information about the Packaging Act at www.verpackungsgesetz.com.
Step 1: Identify own responsibilities and obligations.
Check own suppliers
For packaging materials purchased from third party suppliers (German and foreign), it must be determined who is the initial distributor as the manufacturer. Packaging that is system-relevant and is not registered may not be distributed. For packaging that is not system-relevant, there is usually an obligation to take it back.
It is particularly important to note that retailers are not allowed to resell products with unregistered packaging that is system-relevant. However, they can assume the producer obligations themselves (registration and system participation) in order to be able to distribute the goods.
To check packaging that is purchased together with products from third parties, you can either check the packaging register or ask the suppliers.
Check obligations of the company as manufacturer
Companies are always considered to be manufacturers if they place the packaging materials on the market in Germany for the first time on a commercial basis. This includes the own production of goods, but also the import, the initiation of contract manufacturing or the further distribution with modified packaging.
Step 2: Identification of the packaging
Once the obligations as a manufacturer have been identified, it is necessary to check what type of packaging is used. The identification can be done based on the following points:
- Packaging types & system participation obligation
- Packaging materials
- Marks on the product or packaging
- Quantities per type of packaging and packaging material (per calendar year)
According to § 3 Abs. 1 of the Packaging Act, packaging is defined as follows:
Packaging is a product made of any material to contain, protect, handle, deliver or present goods, which may range from raw materials to processed products, passed on from the manufacturer to the distributor or end user.
System participation obligation of packaging must be determined
Packaging types are differentiated based on their system participation obligation (B2C or B2B). Service packaging, for example, is always system-relevant (B2C), while transport packaging is generally not system-relevant (B2B). The take-back and disposal of packaging that is system-relevant must be ensured by the manufacturer nationwide via connection to a (dual) system. He is not allowed to do this himself.
The Packaging Act itself is helpful in categorizing packaging, but above all the catalog of system-relevant packaging is also helpful.
Step 3: Putting the obligations into practice
After the obligations have been determined and the system-relevant packaging has been assigned, it is necessary to act and implement the following points:
- Registering the packaging with the packaging register
- Ensuring the return and disposal of packaging waste by joining a dual system
- Reporting of planned quantities to the packaging register and to the dual system
- Regular reporting of quantities placed on the market to the packaging register and to the dual system
- If the annual quantity limits are exceeded, a declaration of completeness for the respective previous year must be submitted to the packaging register.
- Compliance with certain recycling quotas
- Consideration of certain substance restrictions
Attention: Companies should inform themselves about the deadlines to be met in the area of packaging subject to system participation!
A lot more tips & tricks that help to implement VerpackG correctly can be found here: https://www.verpackungsgesetz.com/themen/howto-verpackungsgesetz/.
In addition, there is always the possibility for all companies to ask directly for help in implementing the law: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vgl. Das Verpackungsgesetz. accessed 06.08.2021