German drinks firms in new pack deposits battle

Brewers, can makers, distributors, launch new court action in bid to buy time for review of packaging law

A coalition of 30 firms in Germany's drinks sector yesterday launched court action in an attempt to stave off deposits on drinks cans and disposable bottles. The move is a serious blow to the government's plan to introduce deposits on 1 January 2003, which it was finally able to confirm only last month after beating off a previous legal challenge (EED 26/02/02).

In contrast with the previous legal challenge, which was taken only in Berlin's administrative court, the government is now being sued in administrative courts in all 16 of Germany's states. The coalition's members include 27 brewers as well as Schmalbach-Lubeca, Europe's leading manufacturer of PET containers and second biggest can manufacturer.

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