Going circular

Roadmap for complying with the new German packaging law

The European Green Deal lays out how Europe will become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. One of the key planks in this platform is sustainable waste management. A recent law sets out the exact waste targets. This is an important and necessary enterprise. The chemical, pharmaceutical and process industries have a particularly large responsibility to the environment as well as to society. We can and must do everything we can to achieve the promise of the Green Deal.

Are you and your company prepared?

One key consideration is the transition from the linear to the circular economy. The 2020 revision to the German Circular Economy Act has laid some initial groundwork. It includes: ·

  • Broader product responsibility and stricter separate collection duties for waste generators
  • Power to ban certain packaging materials, which has already resulted in the German Regulation to Ban Single-Use Plastics
  • Public bodies are explicitly required to include recycling targets in their requests for tenders
  • Broader registration obligations for products containing/derived from waste

Latest development: Revision to the German Packaging Act:

Packaging accounts for a growing proportion of waste. The Revision to the German Packaging Act (VerpackG) of June 2, 2021 imposes additional duties on everyone who puts packaging waste into circulation. All packaging now generally has to be registered or licensed when it passes to the end consumer.

What does that mean? The Packaging Act vividly demonstrates how product responsibility and waste law are becoming ever more tightly intertwined: Starting in July 2022, all packaging – including transportation and reusable packaging – has to be registered with the Central Agency Packaging Registry (ZSVR) in the LUCID packaging register.

Example: You supply one of your products in 200 steel drums to a customer who empties the drums and uses up the contents. All the drums are shipped four to a pallet and shrink-wrapped prior to dispatch.

First, you have to set up an account for your company in LUCID.
You will be asked to provide:

  • Company name
  • Language
  • Responsible person at the company (first name, last name) ·
  • Administrative contact at the company. Can, but does not have to, be identical to the responsible person (first name, last name, email address, password assignment)
  • Double-check the data and submit the registration

The system will then send a link to the indicated email address. The link has to be clicked within 24 hours in order to complete setting up the account.

You can now start registering packaging:

  1. Manufacturer details: company address and contact details, including ZIP code, city, street and number, country, phone number and European/national taxpayer ID number
  2. National ID number, i.e. commercial register number
  3. City/agency that assigned the commercial register number
  4. Additional contacts can then be added. The electronic correspondence will always be addressed to the responsible person
  5. Enter the brand names. Brands can be added manually if there is more than one. They can also be uploaded
  6. Packaging that the manufacturer is putting into circulation pursuant to § 15 (1) sentence 1 (1-5). In our example: steel drum (sales packaging), shrink wrap and pallets (transportation packaging)
  7. Double-check the data; confirm your entries and comply with the lines of responsibility

A registration number will be assigned once the registration has been completed. Manufacturers are required to keep their registers updated. The register is public.

Manufacturers will also be assuming additional obligations regarding disposal, documentation and taking back packaging. The law now covers fulfillment providers such as warehouse operators or toll manufacturers. They can only carry on business if their customers have completed registration. Fulfillment providers provide at least two of the following services for goods they do not own:

  • Stocking
  • Packaging
  • Addressing
  • Shipping

By the way, parcel delivery services and other cargo transportation companies are not considered fulfillment providers and are not covered by the law.

Time is short – we’ll be glad to help you!

Many companies find themselves in a bind now: The transitional periods expire by July 1, 2022 at the latest – some duties are already in effect. With us, you can still stay laser-focused on your core business:

We are tracking all relevant laws and regulations and will promptly notify you of possible impacts and opportunities for your company. Our circular economy experts will be thrilled to help you – from a one-time consultation to serving as your waste compliance officer.

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