Guidelines for Weighing of Packaging

Determining packaging or non-packaging

Definition in Accordance with the German Packaging Act § 3

Packaging refers to "products made from any material designed to hold, protect goods and for
handling, delivering and presenting goods which [...] are passed on to distributors or private end-users by manufacturers."

Sales packaging is "packaging which is offered as a sales unit and ends with the end-user. Sales packaging also includes packaging from trade, gastronomy and other service providers to enable or help goods to be passed on to end-users (service packaging), as well as disposable dishes. It also includes packaging from trade and other service providers to enable or help goods to be shipped to end-users (shipment packaging)"

Secondary packaging is packaging used as additional packaging along with sales packaging, which contains a certain number of sales units (sales packaging) and is typically offered to the end-users together with the sales units or serves for equipping the shelves (repackaging).

Transport packaging is packaging which makes it easier to transport goods, protects goods from damage during transport or is used during transportation for safety reasons and typically ends with the distributor.

In accordance with the German Packaging Act, only sales packaging and secondary packaging that typically reaches the private end-user may be included in a dual system or approved branch-specific collection and recovery solution.

Determining the packaging mass / weight

There are as yet no agreed regulations among law enforcement authorities for determining packaging weights.

The following basic principles should be taken into account during self-managed weighing:

  • The weight is determined annually or following changes relevant to the weight or material

  • Weighing with calibrated scales up to 2 kg two decimal places, environmental influences (e. g. flows of air) must be ruled out

  • Samples

Weight of empty packaging in g number of samples
≤ 5 g 60
> 5 g und ≤ 10 g 30
> 10 g und ≤ 50 g 20
> 50 g 10


  • A mean average is determined from all values obtained

  • Measurement results are provided in g with two decimal places, commercial rounding

  • Packaging components must be weighed individually if they are assigned to different material categories

Note: Packaging must be emptied, clean and completely dry. For paper, card and cardboard, ensure that the packaging to be weighed has not been subjected to excessively high humidity, causing the weight of the packaging to be too high.