Industry opposes refill packaging compromise

Germany, European Commission propose exempting wines, mineral waters from German refill quota

The European packaging industry has expressed "unanimous opposition" to a possible deal between the European Commission and the German government to reconcile a German law favouring reusable over one-trip drinks containers with EU law. Germany is currently revising its 1991 packaging ordinance to implement the 1994 EU directive on packaging and packaging waste. It faces domestic pressure to defend reusable drinks containers more strongly and international pressure from industry to drop an existing deposit scheme intended to maintain a minimum 72% market share for reusable beverage containers (ENDS Daily 23 May). The German government and the European Commission have been searching for a solution acceptable to both sides. At a hitherto unreported meeting in mid-June, a proposed compromise was put to packaging industry representatives. The draft deal would exempt mineral waters and "quality" wines from the refill quota restriction if filled over a certain distance from the German border and if a deposit system was established for bottled waters. In a statement, the London-based Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (Incpen) now says that the proposal "would have a limited effect, set precedents for other countries to follow and open up new distortions."

Follow Up:
Incpen, tel: +44 171 409 0949.

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