The German packaging law, which came into effect at the beginning of 2003, has had a number of significant effects. The makers of steel and aluminium one-way beverage containers have seen their markets almost totally disappear, retail trade in drinks has been turned upside-down, the recycling industry has been through major upheavals and exporters of drinks to Germany, like the French, have found all but insurmountable barriers in their paths. This briefing looks at the effects of the law so far