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Following the latest developments on the market, EKO-PUNKT GmbH is to cease its dual system operations run in accordance with the ‘VerpackV’ (Packaging Ordinance) at the end of this year and to offer consultancy and brokerage activities instead. Its customers can benefit from these brokerage services immediately as they have already been integrated into the company‘s portfolio. EKO-PUNKT‘s parent company, REMONDIS, took this decision in response to a further dramatic fall in the volumes of licensed sales packaging and the failure of the dual system operators to agree on effective countermeasures to stabilise the system.
To further clarify the reasons behind this decision, EKO-PUNKT pointed to the latest agreements reached by the ‘Gemeinsame Stelle’ (clearing house). Despite months of trying, EKO-PUNKT believes it is impossible for the parties to agree on a business concept that will create a realistic solution for the continuance of the ‘dual system’. EKO-PUNKT deeply regrets this situation. The legislator is in favour of a system that would be implemented by nine competing ‘dual system’ companies and call for voluntary commitment from all market players. Such a system presupposes a high level of willingness on the part of all parties to fulfil their obligations and demonstrate solidarity. The relationship within the ‘dual system’ is, however, characterised by discord and mutual distrust. Looking at the results of the joint meetings of the ‘dual system’ businesses, it has become clear that this status quo is unlikely to change. Whilst they did manage – at the very last moment – to come to an agreement regarding volume distributions and market shares for the rest of this year, it is inevitable that the confrontations will resurface once they start discussing the first quarter of 2015.
”Being one of the honest system operators, we are unable and no longer wish to accept this situation.”
Herwart Wilms, REMONDIS Managing Director
REMONDIS Managing Director, Herwart Wilms, described the dramatic situation: “The volumes covered by independent take-back systems, i.e. the volumes of old sales packaging which shoppers supposedly return to the shop they bought it from, has increased from the completely unrealistic figure of 122,532 tonnes in 2013 to this year’s ludicrous figure of 236,320 tonnes. Whilst the legislator has now banned independent take-back systems in its 7th amendment to the Packaging Ordinance, it has unfortunately failed to completely get rid of the other loopholes such as industry-specific take-back systems. What makes the system particularly unstable is the fact that there are no regulations about how it should be managed and monitored. This reflects the logic of the ‘dual system’. With checks not being carried out, some operators will inevitably continue to try and create “dummy” licences to further reduce the volumes of materials they collect and so avoid having to shoulder the rising costs. The result: these “disappearing” volumes and funding shortfalls will spiral out of control at an ever faster rate. Being one of the honest system operators, we are unable and no longer wish to accept this situation.”
The legislator has taken steps to try and counteract this worsening situation with its 7th amendment to the Packaging Ordinance, for example by banning independent take-back systems. Both REMONDIS and EKO-PUNKT have launched numerous initiatives in the past to try and stave off the negative development, including bringing in the Federal Cartel Office and filing charges against individual dual systems as well as starting a quality drive with the introduction of the BDE Certificate. By signing up to this voluntary initiative, honest businesses were also able to underline their commitment to a system which ensures all sales packaging placed onto the market is licensed properly. None of these measures, however, has had the desired effect, nor has the ongoing amendment to the Packaging Ordinance. As a result, EKO-PUNKT has now decided to cease its dual system operations and offer its customers consultancy and brokerage activities instead.
Having extended its field of business, EKO-PUNKT can now offer its current and future customers a range of take-back solutions for all types of packaging based on Section 11 of the Packaging Ordinance (commissioning of third parties). Thanks to its extensive experience of the market, EKO-PUNKT is in a position to find the most suitable and cost-effective solutions for its customers’ sales, transport and commercial packaging. Its services will also enable it to offer and implement all the options listed in the 7th amendment to the Packaging Ordinance. This covers both advice on licensing and the actual licensing of the sales packaging itself as well as setting up genuine industry-specific solutions.
EKO-PUNKT will continue to offer its customers the best services and the fairest prices.
Moreover, its portfolio not only includes sales packaging: EKO-PUNKT will also be playing a key role in all take-back systems for products which companies are obliged to or voluntarily wish to take back. Furthermore, EKO-PUNKT can offer businesses with nationwide networks a whole range of waste management services. To achieve this, it will be able to use the national presence and capabilities of the REMONDIS Group.