Legal requirements for accepting returned one-way drinks packaging

Collection obligations according to type of material

Since 1st May 2006 retailers and other final distributors shall be obligated to accept all compulsory-deposit one-way drinks packaging of the types of material they distribute. The collection obligation applies regardless of whether the one-way drinks packaging were distributed by the dealer or by a competitor. A retailer offering only one-way drinks packaging of PET need not accept returned beverage cans or glass bottles, but must accept returned PET bottles regardless of their size, form or brand.


For Shops with sales areas of less than 200 m² the obligation to accept returned one-way packagings shall be limited to the packaging of brands put into circulation by the retailer.

It should be noted that, for all returns, the consumer has no entitlement to refund of deposit if the deposit value of the packaging is not legible (e.g. via the DPG Marking). Since no deposit may be claimed for drinks packagings that, for example, were purchased before the coming into force of the compulsory deposit, or were purchased in a country that has no compulsory deposit.

The DPG-System is a deposit scheme for one-way drinks packagings only.

The DPG participation constitute not the obligation to accept returned reusable drinks packaging or drink crates. These are only collected by dealers participating in a voluntary reusable system.

Much the same applies to the collection of drink crates. Retailers offering only non-reusable drinks packagings are entitled to draw the attention of their customers to the fact that they do not collect reusable drinks packagings or drink crates.
non-reusable drinks packagings made of those types of materials (glass, plastic, metals, PPK) in the range on offer.