From January 1st, consumers can return empty plastic bottles of milk and mixed milk drinks to the deposit machine. In addition to normal milk, this also applies to cocoa, coffee drinks, kefir and drinking yoghurt. The empty bottles can then be returned wherever single-use plastic bottles are sold, for example in the supermarket.
The deposit requirement applies to drinks with a milk content of at least 50 percent in plastic bottles. Concrete examples would be Müller Milch, Starbucks coffee or kefir. Some energy drinks, which previously remained deposit-free due to their high whey content, are also subject to the regulation. This naturally makes the products 25 cents more expensive. The deposit rule does not apply when it comes to Tetra Paks.
It is important that Germany gets out of littering and uses more recycled material, said Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) of the German Press Agency. “Everyone is called upon, industry and also retailers.” The deposit requirement for milk and milk products in bottles made of single-use plastic is a sensible contribution.
According to the Ministry of the Environment, deposits have been mandatory for the majority of single-use plastic beverage bottles since the beginning of 2022. A transition period only applied to milk and milk products. The reason: Bottles filled with milk or milk products must be cleaned particularly hygienically when returned. Manufacturers and supermarkets should have a longer period of time to prepare.