Single-use beverage container deposit: solutions for distributors and take-back firms
Interseroh offers beverage manufacturers and traders a flexible full-service portfolio for the German “single-use deposit” for non-refillable containers – from legally watertight registration to disposal and clearing.
Single-use deposit solutions for take-back firms
We offer take-back firms such as food retailers tailor-made logistics and counting support services for single-use deposit container handling. We handle pick-up, collection and disposal of your non-refillable containers, and the documented counting of beverage packaging subject to the single-use deposit. We also ensure exact settlement of deposit monies (clearing) and handle receivables management.
Single-use container assignment: how it works
We provide take-back firms with specialised sacks and tie-off straps – known as “talons” – for collecting single-use containers. Each talon is given an ID number that guarantees the clear assignment of the containers on which deposit duty is owed. After arranging pick-up of the sacks with the customer, we transport the cans and bottles to one of our ten stationary container counting centres. We then ensure the efficient recycling of the containers. Transparency is assured: the talons are logged at multiple scan points to ensure complete, end-to-end documentation.
Single-use deposit solutions for distributors
Receivables management is also part of our full-service package. We handle the collection of your receivables earned by the take-back of single-use deposit beverage containers from the initial distributor or the latter’s deposit duty account service provider. We also handle all payment and documentation transactions, as well as the dunning process.
Single-use deposit solutions: Your benefits at a glance
End-to-end services for handling the deposit on non-refillable containers
Long experience with the DPG system
Advice and support tailored to beverage manufacturers and take-back firms
Pick-up of single-use containers from retailers anywhere in Germany
Quick, accurate counting at ten stationary counting centres nationwide, and at our innovative Mobile Counting Centre
Our expert for
Managing Director | INTERSEROH Pfand-System GmbH
Frequent questions of our customers
- What is the German single-use deposit on non-refillable containers?
The deposit system in German might seem complicated at first, but is in fact a well thought-out and established system. Consumers buy a beverage in non-refillable packaging anywhere in Germany and pay a deposit of 25 cents. Once empty, the consumer returns the packaging to any store in Germany, where he or she is then reimbursed with the 25-cent deposit. While there are some exceptions for smaller shops, the consumer typically doesn’t even notice the complex mechanisms at work behind the scenes. These mechanisms involve the “initial distributor”, i.e. the company that first placed the packaging on the market, reimbursing the “reimbursement claimant” (acting on behalf of the take-back firm) for all packaging that has been documented as taken back. Providing details of this documentation, the requirements for the various stakeholders in the system and the single-use deposit system in the context of taxation would exceed the space available here. Please call us if you have any questions – we’re here to help.
- What happens in the counting centres?
Counting centres bag up non-refillable beverage packaging from the German single-use deposit system. Consumers return this packaging to stores manually or to specialised reverse vending machines that do NOT crush the beverage packaging once it has been scanned. This packaging is then delivered in large sacks that are sealed with a tamper-proof, barcoded fastener known as a “talon”. This barcode tells us where the sack came from and who needs to be reimbursed for the deposits paid out. The high-throughput counting machines then scan this talon before automatically counting the entire contents of the sack, creating the data records for the Clearing Centre and ultimately crushing the packaging so that it cannot be used to claim a deposit a second time. This process therefore produces a data record and a valuable raw material.
- What happens to the raw materials?
Huge quantities of raw materials – the vast majority being transparent or coloured PET plus aluminium and tinplate – are compacted into bales. For 100 per cent of these raw materials, the ultimate destination is recycling – into new bottles and cans, or for use in textiles, or other plastics and metal precursors.
- What happens if I mix up multi-use and single-use?
Our high-throughput counting machines can distinguish between the two types – the packaging barcode is also scanned, for example. The machine sorts out any multi-use packaging and routes these bottles into the multi-use loop.
- Why is clearing actually needed?
As the “initial distributors”, beverage manufacturers and importers levy a deposit fee for each piece of single-use beverage packaging on which a deposit is due. Retailers, in turn, pay this fee to consumers for each piece of disposable packaging they take back. Clearing is used to settle up single-use deposit payments between these parties.
- I’d like to launch a new beverage on the market. What do I have to do?
You will need a “deposit duty account service provider” to handle all of your administrative processes for the deposit on single-use containers. The scope here ranges from basic service provision through to all-in-one packages. We would be happy to handle this work for you – just give us a call.