Extended producer responsibility for packaging in Denmark: A new chapter begins!

Herstellerverantwortung für Verpackungen in Dänemark

From January 1, 2025, a new era in waste management will be ushered in in Denmark: extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging. Producers will now be responsible for recycling their packaging. Denmark, despite being the last EU country to implement this directive (EU Directive 94/62/EC), has already established a legal framework and plans to present a draft bill for the Packaging Ordinance in 2023.

Contents of the new EPR law in Denmark

The Danish parliament has passed the EPR Directive for packaging and single-use plastic products. One major change is the redistribution of costs: what was previously borne by citizens will now be passed on to manufacturers. They will now have to bear the costs of collecting and sorting household waste and participate in programs to reduce packaging waste and promote recycling. It is estimated that around 41,000 companies will be affected by this regulation. In addition, charges will be introduced for the disposal of single-use plastic.

There is some relief for smaller manufacturers: Companies that produce less than 8 tons of packaging per year will have to provide less detailed information. This regulation will be reviewed again in 2027.

Important deadlines for companies

Companies that place packaging on the market in Denmark should take note: Registration must be completed by January 1, 2024. This is necessary as the previous year’s packaging quantities must be reported from January 2025. The notification of packaging volumes for 2024 should be completed in the first quarter of 2024.

Implementation of producer responsibility

Manufacturers can fulfill their responsibility either individually or by participating in collective packaging systems. These systems must cover all types of packaging and operate nationally. The existing Danish system for electronic and battery waste will be extended to also monitor packaging.

 

The background to the new regulation

This policy decision aims to identify those in the value chain who have the greatest influence on packaging design. It is an important step towards improving waste management and recycling in Denmark and strengthening the circular economy.

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