08. June 2021
The responsibility for returning and recycling packaging is strongly influenced by sustainability. In order to take a further step here, the revised German Packaging Act is coming into force in July 2021. RIGK customers already meet most of these demands through the return system.
The planned changes affect issues such as sales, outer and transport packaging, industrial and commercial packaging, as well as hazardous substance packaging (section 2) brought into circulation in Germany – including where there is no requirement to participate in mandatory systems.
The revision relates to documentation, registration and finance obligations to differing extents. The primary focus in on product manufacturers and distributors downstream in the delivery chain. This is different for information obligations: the final distributor of products in packaging is responsible here.
More transparency for returns and recycling
The obligation to document fulfilment of return and recycling requirements is regulated in section 15 (3) of the German Packaging Act (VerpackG). By 15 May of each year, all companies subject to obligations under the Act must provide traceable documentation to the competent state agency about the packaging they brought into circulation, took back and recycled in the past calendar year. This includes a breakdown by material and mass.
Customers in the RIGK-G-SYSTEM (for packaging of hazardous substances) have been able to transfer their burden of proof to RIGK as the system operator of the RIGK-G-SYSTEM since 2002 in accordance with section 33 of the VerpackG (formerly Packaging Ordinance). This allows RIGK to provide the appropriate documentation to government agencies for their trademark users. The documentation obligation for customers with packaging of non-hazardous products is new. Here too, the RIGK Agreement will keep future effort low thanks to the annual quantity notification by the customers.
From 2022, in accordance with section 9 VerpackG manufacturers and distributors downstream in the delivery chain will be obliged to itemise packaging they bring into circulation according to the relevant types of packaging. This registration obligation is new for RIGK customers. However, because the annual packaging quantities are already notified to RIGK, the additional effort will be minimal here as well.
From this date there will also be an obligation to ensure solid finance and organisation so that product manufacturers and distributors downstream in the delivery chain can meet the obligations resulting from section 15 VerpackG. RIGK customers have already joined the return system and as a result they already finance and implement the required expansion of product responsibility. The pre-condition here is also that all packaging is covered by a return system.
Information for end consumers
Are return and recycling requirements met? Informing end consumers about this is the obligation of the final distributor. This also affects the possibilities to return used industrial and commercial packaging. Customers who have joined the RIGK return system already provide this information to commercial end consumers on their website, delivery notes and other advertising material.
Companies already implement many obligations that will be required of all packaging in Germany in the future with the RIGK return system. As a result, the additional effort created by the revision will be minimal for RIGK customers.
Amendments to the German VerpackG from 3 July 2021
Status of the RIGK return system
From 1 January 2022:
Burden of proof that recycling and return requirements for
Possible through the annual quantity notification (RIGK-, RIGK-G- und PICKUP-SYSTEM)
Expansion of registration of industrial and commercial packaging
Entry made at LUCID by filler/retailer without specifying quantity
From 1. Juli 2022:
Providing financial and organisational means, safeguarded through self-monitoring
Participants in the RIGK return system already implement this demand
From 3. Juli 2021:
More comprehensive information obligation for final distributors of products in packaging
RIGK customers already meet the information obligation via their websites and advertising
If you want to escape the increased administrative burden caused by the amendment of the Packaging Act, get in touch with us.
We will inform you about the advantages of a contract with RIGK without obligation.