In our policy section, we focus this time on the jungle surrounding the extended registration obligation, which now also includes service packaging. Our advice is designed to keep you on the safe side, so you have time for your real business. In addition, in the brief info: The Plastic Tax, the Mineral Oil Regulation, the EU taxonomy and the minimum standard for measuring recyclability.
Extended registration obligation
No more exceptions: with the amendment to the Packaging Act, an extended registration obligation applies to all types of packaging from July 1, 2022. Service packaging is also affected. See also the article “Under the magnifying glass” below.
Minimum standard for measuring recyclability
On Aug. 31, 2022, the Central Packaging Register Office (ZSVR) published the new minimum standard for measuring the recyclability of packaging (Section 21 (3) of the Packaging Act) in agreement with the Federal Environment Agency. The minimum standard defines when packaging is considered recyclable and when it is not. Compared to the previous edition, the current minimum standard contains various further developments. (See the press release of the ZSVR as well as the edition of the new minimum standard as pdf)
Mineral Oil Ordinance
The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) has presented the draft bill for the planned Mineral Oil Regulation. The regulation is intended to prevent the migration of aromatic mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOAH) from waste paper packaging to food. Accordingly, the core element of the regulation is the obligation to use a functional barrier.
The planned national mineral oil regulation has already been in the legislative process for over ten years. Most recently, the BMEL had given the draft law to the WTO for notification in March 2021. A transition period of three years will then apply from implementation (probably 01.01.2023).
Plastic Tax in Germany
The planned introduction of the single-use plastic fund has been postponed by one year to 01.01.2025. Manufacturers will be subject to mandatory registration from 2024. The legislative proposal is currently in Brussels, so the real final implementation is not yet clear. So it remains exciting.
Draft EU taxonomy
So far, the packaging industry is only very indirectly affected by the EU taxonomy criteria. However, it was always planned to include all industries in the taxonomy. Now a draft is available, which also includes the criteria for packaging. The draft raises many questions. See also our detailed article in the “Sustainability” section of this newsletter.
The amendment to the Packaging Act – Service packaging
No more exceptions: With the amendment of the Packaging Act on July 1, 2022, an extended registration obligation has come into force. Since then, the following has applied: every company that places its packaged goods on the market in Germany for the first time on a commercial basis must be registered in the LUCID packaging register and state there which type(s) of packaging it supplies. This also applies if you supply service packaging to your customers. Details on the new registration requirements can be found in this short film.
Service packaging is basically packaging with a system participation obligation. Anyone who fills this packaging with goods on a commercial basis in their on-site business and places it on the market for the first time would also have to pay for the recycling of this packaging. This is done through the so-called system participation. In order to comply with the system participation obligation, one must conclude a system participation contract with a system.
However, there are simplifications for service packaging: For example, one can buy this packaging from the supplier of the unfilled packaging or from a wholesaler “pre-participated”, i.e. “already system-participated”. In this case, the recycling for this packaging is already paid for. Ideally, one should have the pre-participating purchase confirmed on the invoice or delivery bill with which the packaging is delivered.
In this case, companies that make use of this regulation only have to register in the public packaging register LUCID and indicate there that they have purchased their service packaging on a pre-participation basis. Those who choose not to do so must fulfill the other packaging law obligations themselves in addition to the registration:
Anyone who wants to know more can find more comprehensive information on the topic in a topic package on the website of the Central Packaging Register Office (ZSVR).
Why all this?
With the legal changes, the legislator has reacted to various irreversible developments in recent years, such as, in the area of service packaging, the considerable growth in to-go consumption during the Corona pandemic. Here, there have been many free riders who have ignored their obligations under packaging law. With the expanded registration requirement, the legislature is ensuring greater fairness and a level playing field in the packaging recycling market. The public packaging register makes it immediately clear who is fulfilling their product responsibility – and who is not.
- Have the supplier or wholesaler of the non-filled packaging confirm that they are pre-participating and have this confirmed on the invoices and/or delivery bills.
- Register in the public packaging register LUCID
Indicate during registration – use (placing on the market) only of pre-participating packaging.