Germany loses EU drinks pack deposits case

European court says restrictive collect-and-return scheme discriminates against foreign producers

The European Commission has won an important legal battle with Germany over its national drinks packaging waste legislation. The European court of justice ruled on Tuesday that a deposit system introduced to encourage reusable packaging was disproportionate and hindered the free movement of goods.

Industry commissioner G√ľnter Verheugen, responsible for overseeing EU treaty rules on free movement, hailed a "landmark judgement". Environment commissioner Stavros Dimas said it "makes it clear on what terms Germany can require reusable packaging without infringing single-market rules."

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