German court deals blow to drinks deposits

Düsseldorf judges uphold drinks industry's case against government's deposits on one-way containers

The German government's plan to introduce deposits on one-way drinks containers from 1 January suffered a serious setback yesterday following a ruling by a court in Düsseldorf that effectively forbids the introduction of deposits on containers in the state of North Rhine Westphalia (NRW).

The mass-action lawsuit was filed in July by more than 7,000 plaintiffs, including 35 retail chains and an array of drinks suppliers and bottlers (EED 01/08/02). The administrative court ruled that the deposits conflicted with recycling and waste laws and as a result, cannot enter into force in NRW, the state over which it has jurisdiction.

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