Most major refrigeration contractors use returnable and refillable containers to transport refrigerant to their customers' sites. However, some refrigerant suppliers sell refrigerant in non-refillable containers, especially for small quantities of refrigerant. Historically, these have been popular because they avoid the complications related to keeping track of returnable cylinders.
Non-refillable containers were widely used for the maintenance of car air-conditioning systems.From the perspective of the F-Gas Regulation the use of non-refillable containers is damaging to the environment. All used refrigerant cylinders contain a small quantity of refrigerant that would be vented to the atmosphere if the cylinder is simply thrown away.Because of this the F-Gas Regulation includes a ban on the use of non-refillable containers for the transport of refrigerants.
This ban came into force on July 4th 2007. Strictly speaking the ban applies to the filling of containers (not to the sale of them). This means that non-refillable containers filled before the ban came into force could be legally sold, but the refrigerant distributor would need to prove that the non-refillable containers he sells after 4th July 2007 have been filled before this date