The German Government will make changes to satisfy the European Court of Justice over its deposits on beverage containers legislation. A spokesman said yesterday (14 December) that upcoming amendments to the mandatory legislation should appease the court.

The Court of Justice ruled earlier yesterday that refundable deposits could be compulsory, but rapid introduction of the rule had discriminated against foreign bottlers. A nationwide agency must be introduced to handle the recycling, the court also said.

An Environment Ministry spokesman in Berlin said amendments already approved in November met the court conditions. He rejected opposition calls to delay their planned passage this Friday through the Bundesrat upper chamber awaiting fresh consultations.

The amendment standardises the deposit at €0.25 (US$0.33) for all mineral-water, soft-drink and beer containers and completely exempts milk, wine and juice containers as well as drink cartons and sachets.

The country made deposits on cans and bottles mandatory from January last year.