Berlin insists can deposits meet EU ruling

15th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 December 2004 , BERLIN - Upcoming amendments to Germany's law mandating deposits on beverage containers will satisfy all the provisoes of a European Court of Justice ruling, a Berlin spokesman said. The court in Luxembourg issued its verdict earlier in the day on the issue, which has divided German industry and political parties. It said refundable deposits could be compulsory, but rapid introduction of the rule had discriminated against foreign bottlers. To prevent unsightly throwaways and encourage re

15 December 2004

BERLIN - Upcoming amendments to Germany's law mandating deposits on beverage containers will satisfy all the provisoes of a European Court of Justice ruling, a Berlin spokesman said.

The court in Luxembourg issued its verdict earlier in the day on the issue, which has divided German industry and political parties. It said refundable deposits could be compulsory, but rapid introduction of the rule had discriminated against foreign bottlers.

To prevent unsightly throwaways and encourage reusables, Germany made deposits mandatory from January last year on cans and bottles.

Retailers have grumbled at having to take back the empties and on Tuesday again demanded abolition of the law.

After the court ruling, European Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, in charge of trade issues, offered to counsel Germany on how to bring the legislation into line with EU law. He said Brussels did not oppose the system in itself, but it must not restrain trade.

The court also ruled that there must be a nationwide agency to handle the recycling, since vendors of table water from Budapest, Bilbao or Belfast could not be expected to haul the empties home.

An Environment Ministry spokesman in Berlin said amendments already approved in November met the court conditions. He rejected opposition calls to delay their planned passage this Friday through the Bundesrat upper chamber awaiting fresh consultations.

Hubertus Pellengahr, spokesman for the retail federation HDE, disagreed. He said the new legislation also broke EU law.

The amendment standardizes the deposit at 25 euro cents for all mineral-water, soft-drink and beer containers and completely exempts milk, wine and juice containers as well as drink cartons and sachets.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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