You can identify single-use beverage packaging by the DPG Logo showing bottle, can and arrow.
A deposit of at least 0.25 euros is charged for all marked single-use beverage packaging, regardless of whether it is a can or a bottle. These bottles and cans can be returned nationwide and are filled only once and recycled after return, e.g. into new disposable beverage packaging. You can find out more about the recycling process in our video.
Reusable glass or plastic bottles can, but do not have to be marked with a symbol for reusable bottles. For reusable bottles, a deposit of 0.08 or 0.15 euros is usually refunded on glass or plastic bottles labelled accordingly.
The deposit for disposable beverage packaging and its return is regulated by law in the German Packaging Act (VerpackG). There is no such regulation for reusable bottles. This is why there is no general obligation for individual retailers to take back reusable bottles. They are only obliged to take back bottles and crates of brands they have in their assortment. In practice, however, bottles of other brands are also taken back, especially uniform pool bottles used by several companies.
The advantages and disadvantages of the two deposit and return systems operating in parallel are still being debated in Germany today. However, one thing remains undisputed: Both systems make a significant contribution to waste avoidance and recycling, and in both systems, the mandatory deposit strengthens society's awareness of the value of reusable and recyclable material resources. All in all, they complement each other. From an environmental point of view, the goal for both systems must remain a constant questioning and optimisation of the resources used.