Reusable systems for

Deposits makes sense


Living diversity

Germany has the most spirited reusable system in the world. Mostly small and medium-sized businesses have shaped the German diversity of beverages and brought it to its peak. Reusable systems exist for beer, water and fizzy drinks, and to a much lesser extent for juice, milk and wine, which are exempt from the deposit.


The introduction of the deposit in 2003 has stabilised the reusable quota for beer in the long term, where it still stands at a good 80%. In the case of mineral water and fizzy drinks, the proportion of reusable products continues to fall. This development threatens many small and medium-sized well operations and has already led to the sale and closure of countless operations including the loss of jobs.


Measures to support and further develop reusable systems in the beverage sector are also urgently needed by the German government. Proposals for political measures are developed by the Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg within the framework of the Mehrweg-Allianz, which is led by the Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. (DUH) and includes the Federal Association of the German Beverage Wholesale Trade, the Association of Private Breweries in Germany and the Association of the German Beverage Retail Trade.

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Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and the Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg (SIM) foundation are awarding the Reusable Innovation Award for the tenth time. The two organisations are calling on product designers, bottle manufacturers, logistics companies, beverage companies and other reusable thinkers to submit pioneering ideas for the award. Awards will be presented for outstanding achievements and initiatives that contribute to innovative further development of returnable systems for beverage packaging.

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The refilling of beverage packaging saves considerable amounts of resources, energy and greenhouse gas emissions compared to new production and should be particularly encouraged. Whilst reusable beverage packaging avoids waste and implements the top level of the five-stage waste hierarchy, the recycling of one-way beverage packaging only corresponds to the third stage of the waste hierarchy. This is why politicians must protect and promote what is still the world's largest reusable system for beverage packaging.

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