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 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