Comparable sources of waste generation are equivalent in legal terms to private households owing to the comparable nature of packaging waste that accumulates there. They include restaurants, hotels, canteens, administrative offices, hospitals, etc.
Grouped packaging bundles a certain number of sales units and is offered in this form to the final consumer. They may also be used for stocking retail shelves. One example of this is the packaging of multiple bottles together in a so-called bottle carrier.
Initial distributors within the meaning of the Verpackungsgesetz are those parties who are the first in Germany to hand over packaging that is subject to system participation and filled with goods to a third party on a commercial basis (possibly even free of charge) with the intent that it be distributed, consumed or used.
The LUCID Packaging Register is the platform on which producers register and on which the ZSVR receives, stores and checks the master data of the producers / initial distributors. In line with the ZSVR's statutory mandate, the registered producers are published with their brand names in a list in the LUCID Packaging Register. The database also incorporates and processes the data reports of the different parties involved.
Packaging subject to system participation is retail and/or grouped packaging that has been commercially given out by a producer and typically accumulates as waste with private final consumers (private households or comparable sources of waste generation).
A private final consumer is someone who does not go on to commercially place the goods onto the German market in the form delivered to them. Alongside private households, private final consumers also include what are known as comparable sources of waste generation (see above).
Usually, the producer of a product is the initial distributor in Germany. If the initial distributor is operating commercially, they must register. If this producer is located outside of Germany, it may also be the domestic importer that is deemed to be the initial distributor in Germany and hence the producer.
The Verpackungsgesetz provides for the following categories of registered experts:
- Publicly appointed experts
- Environmental verifiers or organisations
- Experts accredited by a national accreditation body
- Foreign experts (experts in another EU Member State or another country in the European Economic Area)
Experts are only deemed registered if they are listed in the ZSVR's register of auditors.
These registered experts check the volume flow records of the systems, the sector-specific solutions and also the evidence in the event that a producer requests the return of system participation fees for packaging on the grounds of damage or unsaleability of the same. A second division of the register of experts lists auditors, tax advisers and sworn accountants; these may also audit declarations of completeness.
Retail packaging is made from any desired materials and used for housing, protecting, handling, delivering or presenting goods. Retail packaging is typically offered to the final consumer as a sales unit consisting of goods and packaging. It also includes service packaging and shipment packaging, all components of the packaging as well as packaging aids, e.g. labels, aids for hanging, seals.
Reusable packaging is intended to be reused multiple times for the same purpose. Their actual return and reuse must be enabled by adequate logistics and encouraged by suitable incentive schemes. Reusable packaging is frequently subject to a deposit system. This would be an incentive scheme as per the legal definition.
A sector-specific solution is a producer's free return and recovery system for packaging subject to system participation that said producer has placed onto the German market. A sector-specific solution is restricted to packaging for which evidence can be produced of delivery to a so-called comparable source of waste generation. The solution must be indicated in advance, and evidence must be produced annually of how the obligations set forth in the Verpackungsgesetz have been fulfilled.
Service packaging is packaging that is not filled with goods until it reaches the final distributor and that is used in order to enable or support handing the goods over to the private final consumer. Typical examples include bakery bags, butcher paper, trays for chips, takeaway coffee cups, or bags for fruit and vegetables. In this case – and only in this case – those who are the first to place the packaging filled with goods onto the German market (e.g. bakers, butchers, snack bars, cafes or retailers) can buy the packaging with system participation.
Shipment packaging facilitates or supports the shipment of goods to final consumers. All of the packaging material, including filler material, that is placed onto the German market in the process of sending or handing over goods to the final customer where it accumulates as waste is considered shipment packaging and is subject to system participation.
System, or also 'dual system', means a company that has received authorisation from the competent state authority for operating a system for the return of packaging subject to system participation. For this purpose, different conditions must be fulfilled, including providing evidence of nationwide collection structures, coordination with waste management organisations regulated by public law, and the availability of the required sorting and recovery capacities.
Transport packaging means packaging which facilitates the handling and transport of goods in such a way that direct contact with the goods and damage in transit are prevented, and which typically is not intended to be passed on to the final consumer.