Businesses selling to consumers in the German market can face a fine of up to 50,000 euros ($58,290) and a prohibition in sales if they fail to comply with the country's updated packaging laws.
The act, which was approved in May 2017, will come into force at the beginning of 2019. It aims to improve the existing law on packaging by focusing on recycling and prevention of packaging waste.
As part of the act, recycling targets for the different packaging materials will be increased, reaching 63 percent for plastic by 2022, from the current 36 percent. A 90 percent recycling target has been set for metal, glass, and paper and board by 2022. The act will also encourage reusable packaging, with the target of 70 percent reusable beverage packaging.
Furthermore, the act will offer incentives for packaging producers to incorporate recyclability considerations into packaging design.
Additionally, all businesses will have to register with the central packaging registry at www.verpackungsregister.com to maintain market access.
According to consultants Lorax Compliance, companies that produce volumes of packaging higher than 80,000 kilograms of glass, 50,000 kilograms of paper and cardboard and 30,000 kilograms of aluminium, plastic and compounds which are sold in Germany should submit a declaration of compliance (DOC). Failing to do so could incur a 50,000 euro fine.
“Germany as a country has set itself some ambitious future recycling targets to meet, which will affect producers considerably going forward,” explained Michelle Carvell, chief operating officer for Lorax.
The legislation applies to all manufacturers, importers, distributors and online retailers placing goods on the German market.
All companies which sell goods in Germany must prepare to participate in a dual system to arrange for packaging recovery after use to continue trading in the country.