Germany's 'Green Dot' Waste Management System

Case Details Case Introduction 1 Case Introduction 2 Case Excerpts

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Allegations of Monopoly Abuses

DSD had no collection infrastructure of its own. It had entered into long-term contracts (10-15 years) with local waste management companies as well as municipal bodies to collect and sort waste. Till 2000, DSD was the only waste collection/sorting option available to German companies. In 2000, a couple of firms had started similar waste collection and sorting systems.

However, as DSD had control over the entire collection infrastructure, competing firms were forced to use its system. DSD also charged the customers of competing firms..........

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The Deposit Scheme

In early 2003, Germany introduced a deposit scheme for single-use drinks packaging (Refer Exhibit VIII for the logo of the deposit scheme). Under the scheme, both producers and retailers had to charge a deposit of € 0.25 on mineral water, beer, and soft drink packaging and return the deposit when customers returned the empty bottles. However, the scheme resulted in problems for consumers as well as for DSD...

DSD as a For-Profit Organization

In December 2004, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) stated that it had offered to acquire DSD and that 95% of DSD's shareholders had accepted its offer. In early January 2005, Deutsche Umwelt Investment AG, a wholly-owned German subsidiary of KKR, acquired 75% stake in DSD for € 260 million. By January 13, 2005, KKR received regulatory approval for the purchase. At the time of purchase, in all the years of its existence, DSD had collected around 57 million metric tons of packaging for recycling.........


Germany, in the last few decades, had been at the forefront of waste management, in terms of both legislation (Refer Exhibit IX for Some Recent German laws pertaining to waste) as well as implementation (Refer Exhibit X for recycling rates of different materials in Germany). The country was able to achieve a much higher standard of waste management than other developed countries. As of 2006, the waste management industry in Germany employed 250,000 people, including engineers, waste management specialists, refuse collectors and administrative staff. The industry had a turnover of over € 50 billion....


Exhibit I: A Landfill in Northern Germany
Exhibit II: Abridged Version of the Amended Packaging Ordinance
Exhibit III: The Green Dot
Exhibit IV: Sorting Waste in Germany
Exhibit V: Images of Some Products before and after the Packaging Ordinance
Exhibit VI: Change in Residual and Recovery Rates in Germany
Exhibit VII: Per Capita Waste Generation by Country
Exhibit VIII: The Deposit Scheme Logo
Exhibit IX: Some Recent German Laws Pertaining to Waste Management
Exhibit X: Total Packaging Consumption and Recovery Rate of Packaging Waste (as of 2005)
Exhibit XI: DSD Rates in 2007