German Packaging Act

Packaging licensing explained simply

In this guide, we will explain the German Packaging Act (Verpackungsgesetz) in clear and simple terms. Find out here if you need to license your packaging with a dual system.

Dual System explained

Packaging licenses – what does that mean?

In Germany, packaging falls under a producer's extended responsibility. That means the manufacturer is responsible for the proper disposal of its packaging. Furthermore, every party placing goods on the market must license their packaging with a disposal entity under the dual system.
Dual System explained 2

When does packaging have to be licensed?

Packaging has to be licensed when:
  • it is filled with goods for the first time
  • it is delivered to Germany
  • it is produced commercially
  • it is used for commercial purposes
Dual System explained 3

Who has to obtain a license for the packaging?

Any entity that brings packaging filled with goods to the German market must obtain a license for that packaging.
Dual System explained 4

What types of packaging are subject to licensing?

In general, all sales, outer and shipping packaging, including all filling materials and service packaging, are system-relevant packaging materials and must be licensed with a disposal entity under the dual system.
Dual System explained 5

Where does packaging that needs to be licensed accumulate?

System-relevant packaging materials accumulate at households or similar collection areas (e.g., hospitals, restaurants, hotels, office buildings). Packaging are disposed of in the yellow bin, the yellow bag, the paper collection bin and in municipal glass bottle recycling bins. 
Dual System explained 6

What role does the Central Office play?

The Central Office (Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister) is the fundamental controlling body. It essentially compares the packaging quantities that manufacturers bring to market against the quantities that are licensed with a disposal entity under the dual system. This allows the Central Office to verify that manufacturers are adhering to their extended producer responsibility.
Dual System Obligations

What are my obligations as a manufacturer?

Manufacturers first have to register with the Central Office. Once registered, manufacturers receive their LUCID registration number. The next step is to calculate the planned quantities on an annualized basis for each type of material and to obtain a license from a disposal entity under the dual system.
Dual System Check

Is participation mandatory?

Take the "quick check" test on the Central Office's website to see if you need to participate and register.
Dual System Stakeholders

Who are the key stakeholders under a dual system?

A dual system is connected to virtually all stakeholders in the lifecycle of materials and/or has a direct contractual relationship with them. In addition to the parties placing packaging on the market, the municipalities and the sorting and recycling facilities are the key partners of a dual system. Direct access to sorting and recycling facilities enables participation in interesting cycles.
Advantages of the dual system

What are the advantages of packaging management?

For those placing packaging on the market, assessing recyclability is a very important issue. We can help the environment by designing recycling-friendly packaging. After packaging is disposed of it can be collected, sorted, and recycled. A new product can then be made from the old packaging. 

Click here for our portfolio of sustainable products and services