This is how the mandatory offering of reusable packaging works

This is how the mandatory offering of reusable packaging works 1920 768 flustix

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection explains the most important rules of the new law.

Reusable alternative must not be more expensive than disposable

“Restaurants, bistros and cafés that sell food on the go will be required to offer their products in both disposable and reusable packaging from 2023. A reusable option must not be more expensive than a product in disposable packaging. In addition, appropriate reusable cups must be available for all sizes of a to-go beverage, and reusable packaging must not be offered on worse terms than single-use packaging in other respects either. It is allowed to issue reusable packaging only against a deposit, which is then paid out again upon return.”

Obligation applies to restaurants, cafés, bistros, canteens and even gas stations

“The new reusable packaging obligation imposed by the Packaging Act is aimed at all final distributors who place food packaging made of disposable plastic and disposable cups on the market, regardless of the material used. Final distributors are those who sell to-go packaging filled with food or beverages to consumers, i.e. usually catering establishments, such as restaurants, cafes, bistros, but also canteens, gas stations and catering companies.”

Exceptions apply only to small snack bars and kiosks

“Exempt from the obligation are smaller businesses such as snack bars, late-night stores and kiosks in which a total of five employees or fewer work and which have a store area of no more than 80 square meters. However, these businesses must allow their customers to bring their own reusable containers to be filled.”

For gastro chains, branch size does not matter

“Chains, such as train station bakeries, cannot take advantage of the small business exception. Indeed, the retail space of individual points of sale may be smaller than 80 square meters. But if the entire company has a total of more than five employees, the exception does not apply to them.”