On Oct. 21, the EC challenged the German deposit on the grounds that it "may constitute a disproportionate barrier" to free trade among member states. Seven individual EU member states also opposed the German deposit law.
In force since January 1, 2003, the mandatory deposit regulation has caused the German consumption of steel beverage cans to fall by 80%, Apeal says, representing a loss of 9ꯠꯠ€ per month. The steel packaging group estimates the regulation has already cost 1ꯠ jobs, while an independent research group estimates the ultimate impact could be 10ꯠ jobs in Germany alone.
In addition, a Germany-based research institute reported that 75% of consumers wanted the deposit system abandoned, and that the country should revert to its former collection and recycling system. For years, Apeal says, the previous German system recycled 80% of all metal packaging in its market.