EU warns Germany over packaging deposits

Commission launches legal infringement proceedings alleging disproportionate barriers to trade

The European Commission has opened a new chapter in the controversy over Germany's deposit and return system for one-way drinks packaging by deciding to start a legal infringement procedure. The EU executive believes the system may constitute a "disproportionate barrier" to imported drinks, it said on Tuesday.

EU internal market commissioner Frits Bolkestein tried to launch infringement proceedings in the summer but was blocked after lobbying from German chancellor Gerhard Schröder. German environment minister Jürgen Trittin won another delay at the end of September. Time has now run out, the Commission has decided.

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