Whether packaging 'typically' accumulates as waste with private final consumers depends on a forward-looking assumption (ex ante analysis). It does not depend on whether a specific item of packaging can be proven to have accumulated as waste with a private final consumer; a generalised assessment needs to be made.
If an article of packaging usually accumulates with private final consumers, this is considered to be 'typical'. Whether this is or is not the case should be assessed bearing in mind prevailing practice. To this end, objective criteria should be considered, such as the contents of the packaging (who tends to use the goods), the design of the packaging (e.g. its size, closures, dosage aids) and other features (e.g. content volume, material, weight), as well as the typical distribution channel (e.g. retail stores, wholesalers).
However, it must be noted that not only private households are deemed to be private final consumers within the meaning of the Verpackungsgesetz (Packaging Act), but also sources of waste generation in commercial settings, in the leisure sector and at charitable facilities (refer to 'comparable sources of waste generation') (English link coming soon).
- Flour is sold in a 15-kilogram bag to a small bakery. The bakery does not sell the flour in that form; it uses it to bake bread. The bakery is the final consumer of the flour, and the bag is therefore retail packaging.
- A convenience store sells ice lollies. They are delivered in large transport boxes (which in turn hold several smaller boxes containing the ice lollies). The convenience store sells the goods; however only the ice lolly in its immediate packaging is received by the final consumer. The transport box remains at the convenience store, and is therefore deemed transport packaging. The primary packaging around the ice lolly itself is, however, packaging subject to system participation.
The Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register – ZSVR) has published the 'system participation requirement catalogue' containing the classifications of different types of packaging, taking into consideration the criteria mentioned above. This catalogue is an administrative regulation. To receive legal certainty beyond the catalogue, you can apply to the ZSVR to receive a determination about whether a specific article of packaging is subject to system participation.
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