For an answer to the question, please see the following excerpt from our FAQ page.
Single-use beverage packaging subject to deposit refers to sealed or largely sealed packaging (e.g. not coffee cups with a to-go lid) with a volume of between 0.1 and 3.0 litres that is reusable packaging (cf. 'What is reusable packaging?') and at the same time meets all other requirements set forth in section 31 VerpackG. These requirements are as follows:
(1) The packaging is not explicitly exempt from the deposit requirement due to its design. Exemptions from the deposit requirement insofar apply exhaustively to square, gable-top or cylindrical beverage cartons, or tubular bags for beverages made from polyethylene, or foil stand-up pouches.
(2) The packaging is not explicitly exempt from the deposit requirement due to its contents. Exemptions from the deposit requirement apply, for example, to only a few non-carbonated beverages, i.e. exclusively fruit juices / fruit nectars and vegetable juices / vegetable nectars. Exemptions further apply to milk and, to a limited extent, also to dairy drinks / dairy products as well as to beverages with a specific sparkling wine, wine or other alcoholic content. These exception rules must be interpreted very strictly, and must be verified specifically in individual cases. Beer, water, tea drinks, lemonades, cola drinks, energy drinks or carbonated beverages with fruit content are generally subject to deposit.
(3) The packaging is not an export packaging, i.e. it can be documented that its purpose is not solely to be handed over to final consumers abroad.
As an exception, single-use beverage packaging subject to deposit is not subject to system participation (section 12 VerpackG). This exemption from the system participation requirement applies to packaging aids for closing the single-use beverage packaging subject to deposit, such as screw caps, lids and crown caps. The exemption from the deposit requirement also applies to the labels of single-use beverage packaging subject to deposit, since they are considered to be product components of the beverage packaging.
However, grouped packaging and retail packaging with a bundling function may be subject to system participation, even if the single-use beverage packaging subject to deposit itself is not. This includes, for example, bundling foil, trays, cartons, and bottle crates / bottle carriers (cf. 'When is packaging considered to 'typically' accumulate as waste with private final consumers?'). However, such packaging itself may be defined as reusable packaging (e.g. bottle crates), provided it fulfils the respective requirements (cf. 'What is reusable packaging?').