The Pfand system in Germany is a system that is used to encourage the recycling of bottles and packaging materials. Under this system, a deposit, or Pfand, is added to the price of certain bottled and packaged products, such as soda, beer, and water. When these products are purchased, the customer pays the Pfand in addition to the price of the product.
Why The Pfand System Exists
The Pfand system is meant to incentivize consumers to return their bottles and packaging materials for recycling, as they can get their Pfand back by returning the bottles to a designated recycling center or machine. To return bottles and packaging materials for recycling, customers simply need to bring them to a recycling center or use a bottle return machine, which can be found at many supermarkets and other retail stores.
From January 1, 2022, a mandatory deposit will apply to all non-refillable plastic beverage bottles and beverage cans. Plastic bottles containing dairy beverages are subject to a transitional period until 2024. Milk, wine, spirits, fruit and vegetable juices continue to be exempt from the mandatory deposit.
How To Return Your Bottles
To use a bottle return machine, customers simply need to place their bottles in the designated slot and the machine will automatically sort and count them. The machine will then dispense a receipt with the amount of Pfand that the customer is owed, which can be redeemed at the checkout or at a customer service desk.
It is important to note that not all bottles and packaging materials are eligible for the Pfand system. Only bottles and packaging materials that have a Pfand symbol on them are eligible for a refund. The Pfand symbol is a small mark that is usually located on the bottom of the bottle or packaging material.
In conclusion, the Pfand system in Germany is a system that encourages the recycling of bottles and packaging materials by adding a deposit, or Pfand, to the price of certain products. Customers can return their bottles and packaging materials for recycling at designated recycling centers or using bottle return machines, and will receive a refund of their Pfand. Only bottles and packaging materials that have a Pfand symbol on them are eligible for a refund.
You can find Pfand machines in any local supermarket chain such as LIDL, Rewe, Kaufland, Netto
Most beer bottles(without pfand symbol) and all other cans and bottles with the Pfand symbol on it
1. Beer bottles: 0.08€ (0.15€ for resealable)
2. Einweg(Single-use) plastic bottles: 0.25€
3. Aluminium cans: 0.25€
4. Mehrweg(Multiple use) glass and plastic bottles: 0.08€ – 0.15€
5. Wine bottles: 0.03€
There is legally no restrictions to the number of bottles you can return. However due to capacity some supermarkets such as Edeka and Rewe may not allow like a truck load of bottles from one customer at a time. But you should be able to return a few months worth of bottles at a time without any issues.