• At the European level packaging is governed by Directive 94/62/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 20th December 1994 on Packagings and Packaging Waste, last amended by Directive 2005/20/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 9th March 2005. The directive is aimed at harmonizing the various measures on packagings and packaging waste adopted in the member countries. In this way the effects of this waste on the environment were to be avoided or reduced while on the other hand the function of the single market was to be guaranteed.

  • In Germany this European directive was implemented via the Ordinance on the Avoidance and Recovery of Packaging Wastees (Packaging Ordinance - "VerpackV") of 21st August 1998, last amended by the Fifth Amending Ordinance of 2nd April 2008 (federal law gazette, BGBl. I, p. 531). The overall aim of the Packaging Ordinance is to avert or reduce the effects of waste packaging on the environment. As a means of achieving this, the legislator gives recycling targets in the Packaging Ordinance and adopts regulations on the organization of the collection of waste packaging material. The decisive regulation in the Packaging Ordinance for the compulsory deposit on one-way drinks packaging is section § 9 of VerpackV.

Collection obligations according to type of material

Since 1st May 2006 retailers and other final distributors shall be obligated to accept all compulsory-deposit one-way drinks packaging of the types of material they distribute. The collection obligation applies regardless of whether the one-way drinks packaging were distributed by the dealer or by a competitor. A retailer offering only one-way drinks packaging of PET need not accept returned beverage cans or glass bottles, but must accept returned PET bottles regardless of their size, form or brand.


For Shops with sales areas of less than 200 m² the obligation to accept returned one-way packagings shall be limited to the packaging of brands put into circulation by the retailer.

It should be noted that, for all returns, the consumer has no entitlement to refund of deposit if the deposit value of the packaging is not legible (e.g. via the DPG Marking). Since no deposit may be claimed for drinks packagings that, for example, were purchased before the coming into force of the compulsory deposit, or were purchased in a country that has no compulsory deposit.

The DPG-System is a deposit scheme for one-way drinks packagings only.

The DPG participation constitute not the obligation to accept returned reusable drinks packaging or drink crates. These are only collected by dealers participating in a voluntary reusable system.

Much the same applies to the collection of drink crates. Retailers offering only non-reusable drinks packagings are entitled to draw the attention of their customers to the fact that they do not collect reusable drinks packagings or drink crates.
non-reusable drinks packagings made of those types of materials (glass, plastic, metals, PPK) in the range on offer.

The Packaging Ordinance specifies in great detail which drink contents in which one-way drinks packaging require a compulsory deposit.

The contents of a packaging that make it subject to a compulsory deposit are in particular:

Beer and mixed drinks containing beer

  • Beer,
  • Mixtures of beer with cola or
  • Alcohol-free beer,
  • Beer with syrup (such as "Berliner Weiße mit Schuss"),
  • Beer with another alcoholic drink (such as beer with vodka)
  • Flavoured beer (such as beer with tequila aroma);


  • Mineral water carbonated or non-carbonated,
  • Spring water,
  • Healing water,
  • Table water and also other water, also with additives, e.g. aroma, caffeine, oxygen,
  • all other drinkable waters

Soft drinks carbonated and non-carbonated

  • Cola,
  • Lemonade,
  • Certain fruit-juice drinks,
  • Athletes' drinks,
  • So-called "energy drinks",
  • Ice-tea or coffee drinks, intended to be taken cold,
  • Bitter drinks and other drinks carbonated and non-carbonated,
    As of 1st April 2009: dietetic drinks with the exception of those intended solely for babies and small children.

Mixed alcoholic drinks

  • If these drinks are to be distributed in non-reusable packagings,  a deposit of at least 25 cents incl. value added tax must be charged.

Not subject to compulsory deposit

  • Packagings that have a full volume of less than 0.1 l or more than 3.0 l,
  • Ecologically beneficial packagings. These include:
    • drink packagings made of carton (block packs, gable packs, cylindrical packs)
    • drinks in polyethylene heat-sealed-bag packagings
    • standing foil bags, reusable packagings.
  • Reusable Packagings

Since Octobre 2003 distributors of one-way drinks packagings shall be obligated to charge the purchaser a deposit of at least 0,25 Euro. The deposit shall be charged by each further distributor at each distribution level until transfer to the final consumer. Since 1. May 2006 all final distributors shall be obligated to accept returned one-way drinks packaging of such material-type (plastics, glass, metals, tec.) as the distributor supplies in his own product range. Distributors of such packagings have to accept returned packagings and refund the compulsory deposit.

Since 1. January 2009 apply aditional duties in distribution of one-way drinks packaging.

  • Distributers of compulsory deposit one-way drinks packaging shall mark such packagings in a clearly legible way an in and in conspiciuos place.

  • Distributers of compulsory deposit one-way drinks packagingshall take part in a nation-wide deposit scheme that allows members of the scheme to manage deposit return claims among themselves.

The DPG Deposit Scheme supports retailers and drink industry to fulfil the legal requirements especially to manage deposit return claims (deposit clearing) by the DPG Database function as host data base.