Since January 1st 2003, Germany has a compulsory deposit for single-use plastic bottles, glass bottles and aluminium cans. This compulsory deposit also applies to beverages imported from other countries and sold on the German market. Currently, the compulsory deposit includes still and sparkling mineral water, beer, carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks and flavoured alcoholic beverages. Cider is considered wine in Germany and therefore does not fall in the compulsory deposit category.
The deposit scheme for single-use drink packagings is managed by the DPG (Deutsche Pfandsystem GmbH) which we are a member of. We are obliged to sticker the beverages we sell in our shop with a barcode sticker and charge our customers a € 0,25 deposit. The barcode sticker is placed over the can's or bottle's barcode.
You can return cans and bottles with a deposit barcode sticker to your regular supermarket or beverage store, regardless of whether the item was bought in that store. Please note that the stores are only obliged to accept emptly packaging of the type of material they distribute. A retailer selling PET bottles but no aluminium cans is only obliged to accept PET bottles. If the store has a sales area smaller than 200 m², they can limit their acceptance to brands they sell, larger stores must accept all brands, even the ones they do not sell. As single-use glass bottles are not very common in Germany, it is possible that you might have a harder time returning these bottles. In our experience, Lidl and Aldi supermarkets usually accept single-use glass bottles.
Should you experience any problems returning bottles or cans with a deposit sticker to a deposit machine, please speak to the supermarket's staff. They can advise or process the deposit manually.
Of course, our staff in our Cologne and Bonn shops are also happy to accept your bottles or cans.
For any further questions, please contact our customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org.