Information material

  • Glossary for Waste Industry – PDF
  • Infographic „How does a compliance scheme work?” – JPG


Questions about activate – by Reclay

Questions regarding the Packaging Ordinance

Which advantages does activate – by Reclay have for me

No minimum order volume and full flexibility

With activate – by Reclay, you can license the sales and/or transport packaging you have yet to bring onto the market individually. You can repeat this process as often as you wish without having to conclude a contract with a fixed duration. After the online licensing, you will receive your certificate of quantities directly (certificate of participation with volume information).

100% legal certainty

With the Reclay Group, you have a partner at your side who has been assisting over 3,000 customers from trade, industry and business with the collection and disposal of their sales and transport packaging for over ten years. All of your packaging quantities are fully licensed by the compliance schemes or the Reclay Group’s take-back system for transport packaging.

Licensing to go

You enter your amounts, pay online and instantly receive your certificate of quantities. All certificates as well as the associated invoices can be viewed in your personal customer account at any time.

Which advantages does activate – by Reclay offer me in comparison to other portals?

Discount levels for sales packaging

activate – by Reclay offers attractive discount levels for early license orderers. We currently offer the following discount levels:

Einkauf in:

  • Quarter 1 (Q1) - 25%
  • Quarter 2 (Q2) - 20%
  • Quarter 3 (Q3) - 10%
  • Quarter 4 (Q4) - 0%

Licensing frequencies

activate – by Reclay offers customer tailored selectable licensing frequencies and can therefore be meet your personal requirements. Here are two examples of different licensing frequencies:

  • Peter Predict: He estimates his sales volumes he has to license at the beginning of the year. If his forecast turns out to be incorrect, he will have to license additional amounts.
  • Ralf Regular: He licenses regularly (for example, on a monthly or quarterly basis) based on the expected sales figures. He defines the licensing frequency himself.

Transport packaging

activate – by Reclay is the first online portal to offer uncomplicated licensing of transport packaging. This means that it is even easier for you to fully comply with your Packaging Ordinance obligations online. We pick up transport packaging from your business partners at their request, up to the volume of transport packaging you have licensed in accordance with our general terms and conditions.

What happens to my packaging after the private end-user disposed it?

Your packaging passes through a circular flow. After your packaging accumulated at private households, the end-user disposes the packaging material. The correct waste separation is of utmost importance, since only accurately sorted waste is recyclable. The waste is collected by waste management companies, which are commissioned by the dual systems, at private household and brought to sorting plants. There, the recyclable resources are sorted by material fraction in various sorting processes by using innovative sorting technologies. Afterwards, the sorted materials are pressed into so called mono-fraction-bales. These are being brought to recycling plants, where secondary raw materials are processed out of the various materials. Secondary raw materials can be used for the production of new products as for instance palisades for gardening and landscaping use, park benches , household products, car parts, shopping bags and new product packaging as well as sports clothing can be made out of former plastic packaging. Hence, an important contribution to environment protection is possible by saving primary raw materials.

Rücknahme von Transportverpackungen

What is Reclay doing with the licensing fees, its clients pay?

Producers and distributors of packaging, which accumulate at private households, are legally obliged to take back and recycle these within whole Germany by the Packaging Ordinance (Packaging Act as of 1 January 2019). Due to the fact that this would be far too complex and expensive, the Packaging Ordinance prescribes the commission of a dual system (so called packaging licensing). Producers/distributors pay a license fee to the dual system for the collection, sorting and recycling of the packaging they introduced to the market. The fee is calculated on the basis of weight and material fraction.

With these license fees the dual systems finance the whole take back and recycling process:

  • Collection cost: The dual systems pay the waste management companies they commissioned in over 800 municipalities within Germany for providing waste bins (i.e. yellow bins or glass containers), their regular emptying as well as transport to sorting and recycling plants.
  • Sorting cost: The sorting in modern plants is also paid by dual systems. The recyclable resources are sorted by material fraction in various sorting processes by using innovative sorting technologies. Afterwards, the sorted materials are pressed into so called mono-fraction-bales. These are being brought to recycling plants, where secondary raw materials, serving as production inputs, are processed out of the various materials. Hence, the dual systems use the license fees to secure the functioning of the circular economy and environmental protection.
  • Supplementary expenses: Furthermore, the dual systems have to pay so called supplementary expenses to the municipalities, with which the cleaning of spaces for containers (glass and cardboard) as well as information material for citizens are financed.

How does activate – by Reclay work?

activate – by Reclay is quick and easy to use. You can obtain your quantity report in just four steps:

  • Step 1: Register or log in with your login details.
  • Step 2: Enter the licence year and your volume of sales and transport packaging.
  • Step 3: Check your details and choose a payment method.
  • Step 4: You will receive a volume certificate of the volumes you have covered and your invoice.

Which payment methods are available?

You may opt for one of the following payment methods:

  • SEPA direct debit: With this straightforward method the amount due will be drawn from your bank account.
  • Paypal: Pay safely and conveniently with paypal. The creditor receives the payment immediately without receiving any payment data of the client.
  • Instant transfer (SOFORT): The amount invoiced is being transferred to the creditor automatically.
  • Credit card: With your Master card or Visa card you can pay online conveniently.

How do I determine the amount of my licence volumes?

The first step is to define the type of packaging materials and their respective weights. When doing so, you can assign the packaging materials to the following material fractions:

Sales packaging

  • Glass
  • Paper/cardboard
  • Tinplate
  • Aluminium, other metals
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard composites
  • Other composite materials
  • Natural materials

Transport packaging

  • Paper/cardboard
  • Foil
  • EPS/Styropor
  • Plastic (e.g. straps)
  • Metal (e.g. straps)
  • Wood (e.g. pallets)

The sales and transport packaging quantities to be licensed can be calculated based on your expected distributed volumes or volumes to be transported. With activate – by Reclay, you can license these volumes determined by fraction quickly and easily online.

What functions does “My Account” offer?

You can find the following functions under my account:

  • Change password
  • Change personal details (master data)
  • Download all licensing documents (invoices, quantities certificate and certificate of total annual quantities)
  • Overview on the annual volumes licensed

How do I gain an overview of my licensed volumes?

You can see an overview of all volumes already reported in the “My account” area. Each invoice as well as a corresponding volume certificate for your licensed volumes per fraction can be viewed here.

Is there a general overview of all volumes that I have registered in a licence year?

In the first quarter of the next calendar year, you will receive a confirmation of the total volumes that you have licensed in the activate – by Reclay portal. This annual confirmation also certifies the participation of your licensed volumes in the compliance schemes.

What happens if I have licensed a higher volume than I have actually put into circulation?

Volumes already licensed at activate – by Reclay cannot be cancelled. With the online portal, you do have the option to license volumes as often and in quantities as low as necessary.

What are system costs?

The system costs are an administration fee for the ongoing operation of the activate portal.

What do I generally need to know in order to license packaging with activate – by Reclay?

What packaging materials have to be licensed?

Sales packaging

  • Glass
  • Paper/cardboard
  • Tinplate
  • Aluminium, other metals
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard composites
  • Other composite materials
  • Natural materials

Transport packaging

  • Paper/cardboard
  • Foil
  • EPS/Styropor
  • Plastic (e.g. straps)
  • Metal (e.g. straps)
  • Wood (e.g. pallets)

What are the potential consequences of not licensing my sales packaging or transport packaging?

Anyone who does not license their sales and/or transport packaging properly is violating the Packaging Ordinance. This can lead to reminders, official dunning procedures and/or fines of up to EUR 100,000. In terms of sales packaging, the imposition of a nationwide ban of supplying sales packaging to private end consumers is also possible. Furthermore, you risk warnings issued by competitors and claims for compensation.

SIf you have not yet completely complied with your legal packaging obligations, you must check on a case-by-case basis to what extent and at what expense it is possible to subsequently discharge your obligations in relation to your sales and/or transport packaging.

Who checks whether I have registered (licensed) my packaging with a compliance scheme or a take-back system for transport packaging?

In accordance with the Waste Management Act (Kreislaufwirtschaftsgesetz – KrwG), the higher federal authorities in the federal states are responsible for checking.

Do I also need to register (license) packaging aids and filler materials?

Yes! Because these count as part of the packaging due to their function. No matter whether it’s packaging aids (packing tape, straps, brackets and packing paper) or filling and cushioning materials (e.g. bubble wrap and newspaper) – everything needs to be reported by material fraction.

Do I need to submit a declaration of completeness?

The submission of a declaration of completeness to the local Chamber of Industry and Commerce is only mandatory above a sales packaging volume of 80 tonnes of glass per calendar year, 50 tonnes of paper/cardboard per calendar year or 30 tonnes of all other types of materials specified in Annex I No. 1 Para. 2 Packaging Ordinance (plastic, aluminium, composites, etc.) per calendar year. Should your sales packaging volume fall below this threshold level, you do not need to file a declaration of completeness. In any case, the authorities responsible are entitled to request a declaration of completeness regarding the proper licensing of your volumes at any time. activate – by Reclay therefore provides you with a confirmation following every registration, which you can submit on request. If you exclusively introduce transport packaging onto the market, then in principle you won’t have to submit any declaration of completeness.

All information regarding the declaration of completeness can be found at https://www.ihk-ve-register.de.

How does the return of transport packaging work?

We pick up transport packaging from your business partners on their request, up to the volume of transport packaging you have licensed in accordance with our general terms and conditions.

Email: [email protected]

Rücknahme von Transportverpackungen

Questions about the Packaging Ordinance (Verpackungsverordnung - VerpackV)

What does the Packaging Ordinance say?

The foundation of the Packaging Ordinance is the principle of product responsibility. Anyone who distributes packaging is also responsible for its return and recycling.

For manufacturers and distributors who are the first to distribute sales packaging that is typically accrued by private end consumers, there is an obligation to include this packaging in a compliance scheme (Section 6 Para. 1 Packaging Ordinance). Compliance schemes take care of the collection, sorting and recycling of this sales packaging. By participating in a compliance scheme and paying the licensing costs, manufacturers and distributors are fulfilling their legal packaging obligations. Should a manufacturer or distributor fail to do this, the consequences are described under „What are the potential consequences of not licensing my sales packaging or transport packaging?“.

There is no obligation for manufacturers and distributors of transport packaging to participate in a compliance scheme. They are obliged to take back the transport packaging, and can also commission a third party, e.g. a take-back system, to do so. Reclay Systems GmbH organises such a take-back system for transport packaging.

What are compliance schemes?

Compliance schemes are private companies that organise the collection, sorting and recycling of used sales packaging in Germany. There are currently ten compliance schemes that have been set up in accordance with the stipulations of the Packaging Ordinance nationwide. The compliance schemes are organised in what is known as a Clearing House.

What does the term “licensing” mean?

“Licensing” means meeting individual packaging obligations. In terms of sales packaging, this refers to the participation of sales packaging in a compliance scheme. For transport packaging, this means the participation in a take-back system. The term “licensing” has historic roots. As of 2009, used sales packaging must feature a recycling symbol, for which a licence (i.e. right of use) must be acquired.

I run a trade/am an online retailer and distribute sales packaging. This ends up in the possession of private end consumers. What obligations am I subject to?

In accordance with the Packaging Ordinance, you are obligated to register (license) the volumes of sales packaging that you market with a compliance scheme. Furthermore, you must be able to present a declaration of completeness.

As a trader/online retailer with manageable sales packaging volumes, must I also register (license) my packaging with a compliance scheme?

In Germany, there are no minimum volumes defined for the licensing of your sales packaging. Even in the case of very small volumes, you will be obliged to register these in accordance with Section 6 Para. 1 Packaging Ordinance. Furthermore, you must be able to present a declaration of completeness.

What is sales packaging?

Sales packaging is any packaging that is offered as a sales unit and is used by the final consumer, Section 3 Para. 1 (2) Packaging Ordinance.

Versand- und Serviceverpackungen gelten als pauschal systembeteiligungspflichtig.

What is transport packaging?

Transport packaging is packaging that either makes it easier to transport goods and protects goods from damage during transport and/or is used for safety reasons, Section 3 Para. 1 No. 4 Packaging Ordinance. As all of these characteristics also apply to sales packaging, the place of use is crucial for classifying the packaging as transport packaging. Transport packaging is used by the distributor (not by the end consumer) and is not delivered to the end consumer together with the goods.

What is an initial distributor?

Initial distributors are all manufacturers or distributors who first distribute the sales packaging filled with goods, which typically ends up in the possession of private households, i.e. they hand these over to third parties working in commercial transport. They are obliged to participate in a compliance scheme in accordance with Section 6 Para. 1. (1) of the Packaging Ordinance.

What is a collection point?

A collection point is a location where packaging waste ‘ends up’. The Packaging Ordinance applies for all packaging in the area of application of the Waste Management Act which is marketed, regardless of whether it is accrued in industry, retail, administration, commerce, in the services field or in private households.

What is an end user?

According to Section 3(11) of the Packaging Ordinance, the end consumer is the person who does not resell the goods in the form delivered to them. This may include both private (households) as well as commercial waste producers.

What are fractions?

Fractions in the sense of the Packaging Ordinance are material classes; packaging waste is categorised as glass, plastic or aluminium. The Packaging Ordinance prescribes different recovery rates for the individual fractions.

What is the Green Dot?

“The Green Dot” is an internationally protected trademark, the rights are owned by Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD). A licence fee must be paid to use the symbol in most countries. Until 2009, all sales packaging distributed in Germany had to be marked with the “Green Dot” symbol or a comparable recycling symbols. This obligation does not apply anymore.

What is a volume flow record?

A volume flow record is the annual proof of the amount of packaging collected and recovered which compliance schemes and self-managers (operators of industry solutions) must provide for the highest state authority responsible for waste management. The volume flow record is used to ensure that sales packaging is collected, sorted and recovered correctly. The legal framework is the Packaging Ordinance. The volume flow record must show that the recovery quotas laid down in the Packaging Ordinance have been achieved. An independent expert must certify that the requirements have been fulfilled. It is not necessary to create such a volume flow record for transport packaging.

What is a declaration of completeness?

The declaration of completeness is evidence of the volumes of sales packaging that a manufacturer or distributor has put into circulation during a calendar year. In accordance with Section 10(1) of the Packaging Ordinance, all companies obliged to do so must submit their declarations of completeness to the relevant Chamber of Commerce by 1 May for the previous year. The declaration of completeness must be tested (confirmed) by a surveyor (e.g. auditor) and signed electronically.

Anyone who exceeds the following volumes in at least one material fraction is obliged to submit a declaration of completeness:

  • Glass: more than 80 tonnes/calendar year
  • Paper/cardboard: more than 50 tonnes/calendar year
  • All other material types: more than 30 tonnes/calendar year

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