International News - EC tells German retailers to sort out packaging

Germany has been formally asked by the EC to reform its one-way drinks packaging deposit system. Brussels is claiming a breach of EU freedom of trade rules because the country has not introduced an effective collection system for non-reusable bottles and cans, which retailers are required to return.

Deposits of between EUR0.25 and EUR0.50 (17p and 33p) are also charged. Following an inquiry, the EC ruled that this illegally deters sales, especially on imported drinks.

Retailers only have to take back packaging of the same type, shape and size. Brussels claims packaging is being designed for some retailers to minimise their exposure, illegally restricting trade.