The one-way deposit system - how does it work?

Since 2003, consumers, beverage manufacturers and retailers have organised the issue and return of one-way beverage packaging in combination with a deposit. In this way, everyone involved makes an active contribution to environmental protection and promotes resource-saving material cycles.

Are you selling beverages on the German market?

Many consumers like to use disposable beverage packaging - not least because they can be easily disposed of using the Reverse Vending Machines. This is an important argument in favour of beverage manufacturers joining the DPG one-way deposit process and thus remaining on the safe side, legally speaking.

Do you collect packaging with a one-way deposit?

The system of the Deutsche Pfandsystem (DPG System) enables consumer-friendly return of empty packaging via vending machines, but also via manual withdrawal at the cash desk. The standards agreed within the DPG System promote uncomplicated reimbursement of deposits.


The DPG Disposable Deposit System - A valuable contribution to the Circular Economy

Thanks to the organised deposit cycle, almost 100% of the PET plastic can be kept within a single cycle: After the return by the consumer, the emptied bottle goes through the Reverse Vending Machine to a high-quality recycling, where new bottles are formed from the shredded material. It’s also possible to recycle beverage cans made of aluminium or sheet metal. This means cycles remain closed.


The new Packaging Act of 9 June 2021, published in the Federal Law Gazette (Bun-desgesetzblatt, BGBl) on 14 June 2021, came into force on 3 July 2021. The changes in the Packaging Act also affect the distribution of beverage in disposable packaging.

From 1 January 2022, the mandatory deposit will also apply to the beverages listed below, which were previously exempted from the mandatory deposit. The condition is that they are filled in disposable plastic beverage bottles or in cans with a filling volume between 0.1 to 3.0 litres:

  • Sparkling wine, mixed sparkling wine drinks
  • Wine and mixed wine drinks
  • Wine-like drinks and mixed drinks
  • Alcohol products and other mixed drinks containing alcohol
  • Fruit juices and vegetable juices
  • Non-carbonated fruit nectars and non-carbonated vegetable nectars.

From 1 January 2022, the deposit obligation will also apply to

  • Milk and mixed milk drinks and other drinkable milk products
  • dietary beverages for infants or young children
    if these beverages are filled in cans.

If the retailer still has packaging on the shelf or in stock after 1 January 2022 that does not yet bear the DPG's deposit logo and that he has obtained from his supplier without paying a deposit, the beverage packaging can still be sold without a deposit. This transitional arrangement is valid until 1 July 2022 and is intended to prevent remaining stocks without a deposit logo from having to be destroyed. In many shops, customers will therefore find both for a maximum of 6 months: e.g. fruit juices or wine in cans with and without a deposit.

Please note: (Mixed) milk drinks and other drinkable milk products filled in disposable plastic beverage bottles will only be subject to a deposit from 1 January 2024 and cannot yet be included in the DPG System.

A short overview of the deposit obligation you can find here.