Four months before the German Packaging Act enters into force, the LUCID Packaging Register has gone online. Every party placing packaged consumer goods on the German market for the first time has to be registered there as of 1 January 2019, with registration now open. The Packaging Register makes it possible for anyone to see whether a manufacturer is taking its producer responsibility for packaging seriously. Unregistered manufacturers will no longer be permitted to sell their packaged goods after 1 January 2019. This system of producer responsibility ensures that collection and recycling is paid for by those who bring packaging into circulation.
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze commented: "We generate too much plastic waste in Germany. By preventing excess plastic and ensuring that packaging is designed in a smarter and more eco-friendly way, we want to change that. Whatever we cannot prevent has to be recycled to a greater degree than it has been in the past. We've set higher recycling targets with the German Packaging Act, and we are instilling greater transparency in the collection and recycling of packaging waste. The Zentrale Stelle (Central Agency) and the new LUCID Packaging Register will help to ensure that costs are shared fairly in the future, between those who cause them to be incurred. It may well be the first time that some producers who have shirked their responsibilities to date will be forced to consider how they can package their goods in a more economical and eco-friendly way."
The goal is to finally get all manufacturers to acknowledge their extended producer responsibility and pay for the recovery and recycling of their packaging, regardless of whether the products are sold in their packaging online or in physical stores. In the past, some manufacturers were 'free-riding’ and not contributing to the costs of the system.
By centralising a lot of the tasks involved in implementing the German Packaging Act, the new Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Foundation Central Agency Packaging Register) promotes greater efficiency. Following the publication of the Guidelines for the Assessment of the Recyclability of Packaging and the detailed guidance on requirements provided by the System Participation Requirement Catalogue, the LUCID Packaging Register is now being launched.
Gunda Rachut, Chair of the new Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Foundation Central Agency Packaging Register), said: "The early launch of the Register – four months before the German Packaging Act enters into force – means that we're giving every company the opportunity to prepare for the new requirements as of right now. Small companies especially need enough time to smoothly transition into the new requirements of the German Packaging Act before the law enters into force."
It is now possible to register via the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register) website at www.verpackungsregister.org. In future, companies under obligation will need to register their master data and the brand names they market via this portal. The process is streamlined, and takes roughly 10 to 15 minutes. The company names – and the brands pertaining to the companies registered – will be publicly accessible in the LUCID Packaging Register, so that not only the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register) will be able to check whether manufacturers and retailers are living up to their responsibilities, but also other parties (such as consumers) will have access to such information.