Upcoming Changes to Germany’s WEEE and Packaging Requirements
Changes to both the WEEE and Packaging legislation in Germany have recently been approved, expanding producer obligations.
The updated packaging law will come into force on the 3rd of July 2021 and the WEEE law on the 1st of January 2022. Both laws put more responsibility on fulfilment service providers and online retailers to confirm that their sellers are correctly registered.
German Packaging Act – Amendment 2021
Beginning the 3rd of July 2021, registration requirements with the Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister will apply to more producers and distributors, starting with final distributors of service packaging. Additionally, starting July 2022, the scope of obligated packaging requiring registration will be expanded to include all packaging types as well as packaging sold to professional/industrial environments.
Other changes include:
- Optional appointment of authorized representatives for distance sellers
- The extension of the deposit system to single-use PET beverage bottles and cans
- Requirements for final distributors to offer reusable alternatives for single-use plastic
German WEEE Legislation Elektrogesetz 3
The changes under Elektrogesetz 3 primarily impact producers of professional products, coming into force over 2022 and 2023.
The requirements include:
- Inform the authority about available take-back beginning in 2022
- Expanded product marking of B2B EEE products in 2023
Sales/distribution of unregistered products is not allowed and carries risk of significant fines for noncompliance. With the earlier update of BattG2-2020 the German Battery legislation (BattG2) all three disciplines have now been resolved. Please contact Accerio for assessment of your company’s obligations under these changes.
UK Packaging Legislation and Plastic Tax
The UK has several big changes to their packaging legislation on the horizon. The first change is a new tax on plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled materials. This was outlined in our previous newsletter, but the start date of April 2022 is drawing closer, so please contact your packaging suppliers to obtain the evidence you require.
In addition to the plastic tax, the UK is replacing the packaging law under the EU Packaging Directive with more comprehensive Extended Producer Responsibility legislation. This will move the system to a single point of compliance along the packaging supply chain, instead of spreading it out through several links of the supply chain. This change obligates a single responsible party to cover the complete net cost of the recovery and recycling of their packaging. Additionally, the new legislation would shift the financial responsibility of curbside recycling and litter collection from local taxes to the obligated parties.
The legislation is not finalized, but the likely changes are:
- A lower obligation threshold to obligate companies that handle more than 25 tonnes of packaging and have a turnover of at least 1 million GBP; this greatly expands the number of obligated companies
- Introduction of modulated fees that requires more detailed reporting of packaging materials, including the kind of plastics used. The fee modulation reflects recyclability of packaging materials and will be required for reporting of 2023 sales
- More detailed geographical reporting separated by England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland markets, instead of just UK as a whole as it is presently
- A new labelling system for packaging to ensure end users can easily tell if packaging waste can be recycled. This is expected to come into force for some packaging by 2024/25 and other packaging by 2026/27, though details on packaging types included in each phase is not yet available
The legislation has closed the consultation stage and the finalized law may differ from what is laid out above. However, big changes are certain, such as the need for producers to gather more detailed product packaging information and budget more for UK packaging compliance from 2023 onwards. Accerio will continue to monitor this legislation and will be in touch with any impacted clients.
New Washington D.C. Battery Law
Washington D.C. has approved Law 23-211 Zero Waste Omnibus Amendment Act 2020, which obligates producers for distance sales and retail sales of batteries starting 1 January 2022.
Washington D.C is the first US district/state/territory to introduce EPR laws for both small rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. US EPR obligations are rapidly expanding, so similar laws are likely to develop elsewhere to significantly increase battery obligations for producers.
The Washington D.C. Act has an extensive scope, obligating all chemistries of standalone batteries and batteries integrated into certain products, with exemptions of products containing batteries that are already covered under Washington D.C.’s E-Waste law and specified product types . Companies selling covered integrated and standalone batteries into Washington D.C. will be required to enroll in a district approved battery stewardship plan. Please contact Accerio for an assessment and more details on Washington D.C’s battery and e-waste requirements.