Germany's beer brewers are sounding the alarm. The EU is planning a revolution in the deposit system. The "bureaucratic monster" would have serious consequences.
Dortmund – Environmentally friendly, practical and extremely simple: The German beer crate has been an institution for decades. It is precisely this "beverage monument" that is now to be "shredded and destroyed".
Beer crates on the brink of extinction – revolution planned in the deposit system
What has been working successfully for many years may now be on the verge of extinction. With a regulation that is binding for all 27 member states, the EU wants to revolutionize the deposit system. The beer price shock is followed by another blow to the neck.
The aim is to strengthen the reusable system and reduce resource consumption. So far, so commendable. However, the ambitious project would have a significant impact on the German beverage industry and thus also on Germany's beer brewers, reports RUHR24.
Beer crates and beer bottles on the brink of extinction: revolution in the deposit system "absurd"
At a crucial point, the draft of the "Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR)" would undermine environmental protection in an absurd way, criticizes the German Brewers' Association in a press release. Although the strengthening of reusable systems [...] is the declared goal, "the existence of already established, successful reusable systems that have been functioning for decades will be endangered by the planned regulations," it says.
What consequences would Germany's breweries have to reckon with as a result of the revolution in the deposit system? In short, both beer bottles and beer crates in their current form are on the verge of extinction. "The 1500 predominantly artisanal and medium-sized breweries in Germany alone currently have around four billion returnable bottles in circulation," says the German Brewers' Association. This corresponds to a reusable share of around 80 percent.
Beer crates and bottles threatened with complete destruction – beer brewers horrified
While the planned EU regulation provides for a "permanently affixed labeling" of reusable packaging, the German reusable system has always worked with washable labels. The deposit revolution would thus result in "a complete destruction of the existing reusable bottle and crate pools".
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The planned EU regulation will pose a threat to beer crates and beer bottles in Germany. © mix1/Imago
Neither beer bottles nor crates are allowed to be reused in their original form, "although they could still be in use for many years," explains the German Brewers' Association. The questionable regulations would be associated with billions of investments for Germany's circular economy without offering any ecological added value, the brewers criticize.
Beer crate on the brink of extinction: "This madness must be prevented" – deposit revolution under attack
"This madness must be prevented," demands Holger Eichele, Managing Director of the German Brewers' Association, in an interview with the Bild newspaper. "The plans are ecological and economic madness!" warns Dirk Reinsberg, Managing Director of the Federal Association of German Beverage Wholesalers.
He goes on to criticize: "The EU plan requires that the transport packaging of a product is no more than 40 percent larger than the product itself. In the case of beer, this would mean that the classic German beer crate would be on the verge of extinction, shredded and destroyed."