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EU urged to act over German drinks rules

EU mineral water bottlers are urging the European Commission to take formal legal action against Germany“s interpretation of EU environmental laws. Companies that export mineral water to Germany say …

EU mineral water bottlers are urging the European Commission to take formal legal action against Germany“s interpretation of EU environmental laws. Companies that export mineral water to Germany say the strict environmental rules discriminate against them by making it much more difficult to sell their products in disposable or recyclable containers. According to a recent report, Germany imposes a quota on drinks producers, which must provide 72% of their product in refillable containers. Next year, Germany plans to introduce a rule that any beverage container that cannot be refilled must be returned to the shop for a deposit, the report said. The European Commission has been investigating the German environmental rules for nine years. It has sent two warning letters to the German government and has received formal complaints about the German packaging quotas from five other EU member countries. Last October, a court in Bonn ruled that the government was in violation of the EU packaging directive as its quota system inhibited the free movement of goods.

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