The collection and recycling system in Germany
In order for used packaging to be recycled, it must be disposed of in the yellow bin or bag.
The end consumer does not incur any additional fees for teh collection and processing of the packaging waste. A core component of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is the regulation that manufacturers and distributors of packaging bear the financing costs for the corresponding disposal. You commission EPR systems to organize the collection of sales packaging:
All packaging made of plastic, composite materials, ferrous metal or aluminum that has been emptied belongs in the yellow bin or yellow bag.
When it comes to collection, a distinction is made between the drop-off system and curbside collection. The curbside collection system for lightweight packaging is the most widespread in Germany: the packaging is regularly picked up from consumers’ homes. In the drop-off system, primarily for glass, less often for paper, cardboard and cardboard, the consumer is provided with collection containers at specific locations in the municipality or city, which are emptied regularly. There are also recycling centers in some regions. Empty packaging and certain hazardous waste can be dropped off directly.
The collected packaging is separated according to material types in sorting plants and then processed accordingly in recycling plants so that plastics, for example, can be reused.
The EPR systems must have their collection and recycling quotas checked annually by an independent expert and prove whether they meet the recycling quotas specified in the Packaging Act.