Competition in Producer Responsibility: German Packaging Compliance Schemes

This report is an English translation of a report by the German Federal Competition Authority into the impact of introducing competition into the German system for producer responsibility for packaging. It provides detailed evidence on the impact on costs to producers and other factors. It is the only report we are aware of which objectively assesses a real case study of the relative pros and cons of a competitive system versus the original monopoly system which operated in German until 2004.

This report provides some useful insights to UK business and policy makers on the options for future compliance systems in the UK.

Key points:

  • The introduction of competition in Germany resulted in a reduction in compliance costs to industry from over €2bn per year to under €1bn per year over a 10 year period
  • At the same time to adverse effects which were feared, for example reduction in recycling performance and reduction in material quality, did not occur
  • In fact the opposite occurred in that recycling continued to increase and quality improved

Read the report here.

We have produced a short summary paper which can be downloaded below: