Berlin passes new law on can deposits

17th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 December 2004 , BERLIN - Germany's upper chamber, or Bundesrat, has passed legislation to fix a flawed scheme that uses deposits to keep corroded cans and broken bottles off streets and park lawns. Germany's huge retailing industry as well as importers of bottled table water had fought a long battle against the refunds scheme, challenging it in court and cultivating opposition parties. But the opposition-controlled Bundesrat okayed the revised plan for empties. The scheme will become binding once it has

20 December 2004

BERLIN - Germany's upper chamber, or Bundesrat, has passed legislation to fix a flawed scheme that uses deposits to keep corroded cans and broken bottles off streets and park lawns.

Germany's huge retailing industry as well as importers of bottled table water had fought a long battle against the refunds scheme, challenging it in court and cultivating opposition parties. But the opposition-controlled Bundesrat okayed the revised plan for empties.

The scheme will become binding once it has been cleared by the European Union next year.

While the German public welcomed the original deposit scheme started two years ago, few understood the complicated exemptions and most grumbled that shops would not pay refunds for other store chains' bottles and cans.

By 2006, shoppers will pay a deposit of 25 euro cents for all one-use mineral-water, soft-drink and beer containers. They will be able to return the bottles and cans to any shop.

Refillable bottles, containers for milk, wine and juice, beverage cartons and sachets are exempt.

So far, the scheme has boosted sales of refillable bottles. Supporters insist it has reduced the amount of litter.

On Tuesday, the European Court of Justice ruled that aspects of the first scheme breached European Union law. The European Commission has warned that the second system must not restrain trade.

DPA

Subject: German news

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