Fast Food Packaging
The Packaging Act (VerpackG) has already been force in Germany since 1993. The aim of the law is to motivate private households to recycle their waste and to use more ecologically beneficial and recyclable packaging. The Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR), which was founded for thos purpose, aims to establish a transparent and fair distribution of the costs of the disposal and recycling system within the dual system.
Due to an amendment of the VerpackG, from 01 July 2022 all persons who commercially place packaging on the market are obliged to register in the packaging register LUCID and to provide information on the individual types of packaging and the respective brand names in the register.
You can find more information about the Packaging Act in our guide article.
The ZSVR operates since 01 January 2019 as an entrusted authority and is subordinate to the Federal Environment Agency. The main task of the ZSVR is to check whether the requirements of the VerpackG are met. For this purpose, the public register LUCID was introduced.
Via LUCID, companies indicate the quantities of packaging they are placing on the market for the first time on a commercial basis in Germany and the extent to which they have participated in the dual system. The dual systems also report which company has licensed how much packaging material. In this way, the ZSVR can check whether Hersteller (the Packaging Act generally refers to the obligated initial distributors as "Hersteller") have actually licensed the packaging and whether there are quantity discrepancies between the individual data reports.
Violations of the VerpackG can be punished by the ZSVR with fines of up to 200,000 euros or a ban on distribution. Should a company discover via the public register that competitors have not registered with the ZSVR, this may result in warnings under competition law. If you become aware of a violation, contact the ZSVR directly.
According to the Packaging Act, the Hersteller are obliged to register, i.e. those who put packaging filled with goods into circulation for the first time. This can be producers, trading and import companies and online store operators. This applies to companies based in Germany as well as foreign companies that sell goods to Germany.
Also as a distributor of so-called service packaging you have to register with LUCID. However, you can transfer the duty of licensing to your supplier or wholesaler when you buy the packaging. At the ZSVR, you must then provide proof that you have already purchased licensed packaging. This is usually shown on the invoice.
The Packaging Act distinguishes between packaging that is subject to system participation and packaging that is not subject to system participation.
Packaging subject to system participation is retail or grouped packaging filled with goods that typically accumulates as waste with private final consumers after use..
Packaging that is not subject to system participation includes
Service packaging is packaging that is only filled with goods at the final distributor and then handed over to the end consumer; special regulations apply to this type of packaging. Service packaging includes, for example, roll bags from bakeries, snack trays from fast food outlets, carrier bags, coffee-to-go cups etc. Packaging with which food and beverages are delivered by catering businesses or delivery services is not service packaging. They are shipping packaging, and the special regulation does not apply.
According to the special regulation, final distributors of service packaging have the possibility to buy the unfilled service packaging from delivery companies or wholesalers "pre-participated". In this case, the packaging recycling has already been paid for. As the last distributor, you must have the prepaid purchase of the unfilled service packaging confirmed on the invoice or delivery bill. You can report the pre-participated purchase to LUCID.
If service packaging is not purchased in advance, the same regulations apply to it as to sales packaging subject to system participation.
You can find more information about the Packaging Act, the packaging register LUCID or the registration obligation on the website of the Zentralen Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register). Here you will also find a link to the LUCID portal and assistance with registration.