German Recycling System Violates EU Law | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 14.12.2004
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German Recycling System Violates EU Law

The European Court of Justice said on Tuesday, Germany’s can deposit and recycling system violates EU law. The decision could pave the way for the rolling back of the controversial system that critics say disadvantages foreign drink companies. Germany introduced compulsory deposits on non-reusable drink containers in 2003 because quotas for refillable bottles were not being met. But the EU Commission argued the system discriminates against the import of foreign products. The European court concurred in part, saying Germany failed to give mineral water producers enough time to adjust to the new rules and called for a reform of the recycling infrastructure. "The deposit and return obligations introduced in Germany for non-reusable drinks packaging hinder the free movement of goods if producers do not have a reasonable transitional period and a guarantee that the new system will be operational when the old system ceases to exist," a court statement said.

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