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What is a system participation contract?

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Companies have many obligations. These include sustainable and compliant handling of packaging and packaging waste. This is where the system participation contract comes into play, ensuring proper sorting and disposal as well as the appropriate recycling. In this way, environmentally friendly material cycles are maintained and created.

Waste management through system participation contracts

In an increasingly environmentally conscious world, companies are facing ever greater challenges in recycling and responsibly handling waste and packaging materials. Proper recycling is a key tool to help address these challenges. This is where the system participation contract comes into play. This blog is intended to serve as a small guide and provide a comprehensive overview of this important concept - from definition to practical implementation.

What exactly is a system participation contract?

A system participation contract is an agreement between a company and a dual waste management system. The latter can be a central provider or several companies. Their task is to collect, sort and recycle packaging waste. This contract helps the company to ensure that the legal requirements for disposal are met. Specifically, the law states that initial distributors of packaging are responsible for disposal themselves. This task may be handed over to a dual system. In doing so, the system participation contract specifies the rights and obligations and the contractual conditions. The dual system thus assumes the legal obligations in return for a fee that is determined on the basis of the quantities placed on the market.

The importance of the system participation obligation

Companies, firms and self-employed persons who place packaged goods on the market can fall under the system participation obligation. This includes fillable or filled packaging, such as coffee cups, sausage packaging or shipping materials, as well as outer packaging. This obligation arises from statutory regulations under the Packaging Act. The aim here is to minimize the environmental impact of packaging waste. Companies that are required to participate in the system must join a disposal system. This is mainly done by concluding contracts with existing systems. But when exactly do I fall under the system participation obligation? In principle, companies, manufacturers, distributors and importers who place sales packaging on the market or within the scope of the law for the first time are required to participate in the system. They must therefore participate in the legally regulated dual system.

Which packaging is subject to the system participation obligation?

The following applies: All packaging that is used in the final consumption of private households and similar sources (e.g. hospitals, hotels, restaurants, offices of freelancers) is subject to the system participation obligation. This includes packaging for food, beverages, cosmetics and other consumer goods. It does not matter whether the packaging is made of glass, plastic, paper or metal. The exact specifications as to which packaging is subject to system participation are laid down in the Packaging Act. There is also a catalog for packaging that is subject to system participation. However, as is well known, there are exceptions to every regulation. This also applies to the system participation obligation. B2B packaging, for example, is exempt from this obligation because it is not used for private consumption. Transport packaging, which only serves to secure and transport goods, is also an exception.

How do companies benefit from the system participation contract?

The system participation contract not only fulfills legal requirements, but also ensures as well as promotes efficient and sustainable recycling management. By participating in a waste management system, companies contribute to the conservation of resources and send a strong signal for environmental protection. Sustainability contributes to the economic efficiency of companies. At the same time, fulfilling these obligations strengthens a company's image and promotes the trust of customers and business partners.


  1. Conclusion of contract: Companies can simply conclude a system participation contract on our site using the online calculator, carry out a price calculation or make an appropriate consultation appointment.
  2. Reporting packaging quantities: Companies must regularly report the amount of packaging they market. This is used to calculate system participation costs and monitor legal requirements.
  3. Provision of packaging waste: The accumulated packaging and waste is sorted and separated accordingly by the end users, i.e. each type of waste goes into the respective designated garbage can, e.g. packaging waste into the paper and materials garbage can.
  4. Disposal and recycling: The disposal system operator takes care of the collection, sorting and recycling of the packaging waste, either in its own facilities or in cooperation with specialist partners.

Conclusion - Engaging in system participation contracts for a sustainable future

System participation contracts are crucial tools for companies to make a significant contribution to sustainable recycling management. By participating in waste management systems, they not only fulfill legal requirements, but also send a strong signal for environmental protection and responsible action. Consistent implementation of such a contract can not only have positive ecological effects, but also promote economic efficiency and strengthen a company's reputation.