EPR systems in Germany

In Germany there are currently eleven EPR(disposal) systems that are responsible for the nationwide collection, sorting and recycling of used sales packaging.

Why an EPR system?

Since the introduction of the Packaging Ordinance in 1991, companies that place packaging on the market have been legally requiredto ensure that it is recycled. This is where the EPRsystems come into play: If a product is bought by the end consumer, it is the product manufacturer’s duty to ensure that the packaging can be recycled.

This can only happen if it is properly managed: the consumer has the responsibility to dispose packaging in the yellow bin or bag, the waste paper bin or in the glass container of the EPR systems.

The latter then organize the collection, sorting and recycling of the packaging materials. All sales packaging that is placed on the market must be licensed in an EPR system (obligation to participate in the system), ie trade and industry commission an EPR system for its service.

In 2019, the Packaging Act (VerpackG) replaced the Packaging Ordinance (VerpackO). The most important goals are the avoidance of packaging waste and the utilization (recycling) of valuable materials. To achieve these goals, the following recycling quotas are prescribed, which will be gradually increased (§16 VerpackG):

 

Packagings

Current recyclingquote

rate

Recycling quota

from 01/01/2022

Plastics

90%

(at least 65% through mechanical recycling*)

90%

(at least 70% through material recycling*)

Glass

 

80%

90%

Paper, Cardboard, Cardboard (PPK)

 

85%

90%

Aluminium

 

80%

90%

Ferrous metals

 

80%

90%

Beverage carton packaging

 

75%

80%

Other composite packaging

55%

70%

 

*Material recycling describes the processing of used plastics into new raw materials from which new products can be made. When the material is recycled, the chemical composition of the plastic remains the same.

 

 

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    GLASS - the right way to separate
    PAPER - the right way to separate
    PLASTICS - the right way to separate