What restrictions apply to the return of one-way beverage packaging?

The German Packaging Act stipulates that the retailer must collect all one-way beverage packaging of the type of material that he also carries in his range. If, for example, no drinks are offered in one-way glass bottles in a shop, then the retailer does not have to collect them. Another restriction concerns the size of the store. If the sales area is less than 200 square metres, the retailer is only required to collect the one-way beverage packaging of the brands that he also sells himself. If the sales area is over 200 square metres, the retailer must accept from the customer all one-way beverage packaging that is subject to a  mandatory deposit, regardless of whether he carries the brand, the packaging size, etc. or not.


Is a wholesaler required to collect empty one-way beverage packaging, e.g. from the catering trade?

According to the German Packaging Act, end users are obliged to recycle the empty packaging returned by private end consumers. Alternatively, however, the empty packaging can be returned to your previous distributor - e.g. wholesalers. In this case, agreements can be made regarding costs for example.


What do you do if the Reverse Vending Machine is defective?

If the Reverse Vending Machine is incidentally out of order, customers can hand in their empty packaging, e.g. to checkout staff, in return for a deposit.


What should consumers do if they want to return large quantities of one-way beverage packaging?

Most retailers can also deliver larger quantities of DPG packaging without any problems. In some exceptional circumstances, e.g. after a party, the consumer may wish to return very large quantities of empty packaging, then it may be worthwhile arranging a return time slot with the retailer that is favourable for both parties. This avoids queues at the Reverse Vending Machine.


Can retailers take deposit bottles from Reverse Vending Machines?

Retailers whose shop consists of over 200 square metres of sales area must accept all one-way beverage packaging subject to a deposit of the type of material that they also have on offer. It doesn't matter where customers previously bought the beverage packaging - this could be the shop next door or a drinks machine.


Can one-way beverage packaging that was bought abroad also be returned in Germany?

Retailers do not have to reimburse a deposit for one-way beverage packaging that does not display the DPG logo. This is the case, for example, if the one-way beverage packaging was bought abroad and the consumer has not paid a deposit within the meaning of the German Packaging Act.


What applies to the return of one-way deposit bottles in small shops under 200 m² (kiosks, petrol stations, etc.)?

Under the German Packaging Act, if a kiosk consists of an area of ​​less than 200 square metres, it is only required to accept packaging from the brands that it has within its range.


Can I be asked to buy something in the store in order to be able to redeem the deposit?

No. According to the German Packaging Act, each distributor must collect a deposit of at least 0.25 euro including VAT. Any retailer who accepts empty packaging is obliged to reimburse the deposit to the customer. Retailers cannot link their return obligation or the amount of the deposit to be paid to conditions such as the amount of the deposit or the purchase value.