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Denmark

Geographical size 
42 921 km²

Population
5 627 235 (2014)

GDP (Billion euro)
248,974 billion euro (2013)

Trade & Industry

No Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for T&I packaging
No accredited organisation

Household

No Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for HH packaging
No accredited organisation

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All materials/products used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods from the producer to the end-user and consumer.  This includes sales/primary, grouped/secondary, and transport/tertiary packaging (cfr. definition in Directive 2004/12/EC)

Paper/cardboard, Glass, Metal, Plastic and Wood

Overall recycling target: 55%, with specific recycling target for metal (50%), paper/cardboard (60%), plastic (22,5%), glass (80% - above EU target) and wood (15%)
Specific targets for household waste (cfr. next page).

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  • Danish Ministry of the Environment - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

    Strandgade 29 - 1401 Copenhagen K (Denmark)
    Phone: +45 72 54 40 00
    E-mail: mst@mst.dk - Website: www.mst.dk

Part Legislation and specific items

There is no producer-responsibility system for packaging and packaging waste in Denmark, but:

  • There is well a mandatory deposit-return system which operates for one-way beverage container packaging and refillable bottles.
  • The management of other household packaging waste and T&I packaging waste falls under the responsibility of local authorities (collection/preparation for recycling) and private operators (recycling).
  • There is a resource plan related to household waste.

Deposit-return system

The Danish deposit and return system operates within the legal framework established by the Statutory Order on Deposits and Collection etc. of Packaging for Beer and certain Soft Drinks. In February 2014, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised it to confirm Dansk Retursystem A/S (www.dansk-retursystem.dk) in its exclusive right to operate the system until the end of 2019. The exclusive right are extended every 6 year on a basis of an external evaluation.

Deposits apply to both one-way packaging and refillable bottles that contain beer, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, mineral water, iced tea, ready-to-drink beverages and cider products sold in Denmark. However, it does not cover fruit squash, juice, cocoa, wine and spirits.
Dansk Retursystem A/S only collects one-way packaging which is included in the deposit system. The return percentage for one-way bottles and cans reaches 89 %.

How does the deposit system work? Importers and producers have to be registered by Dansk Retursystem A/S if they wish to sell drink products that are included in the deposit and return system. Both domestic and external companies have to pay the fees for the system. Only the companies who have registered can affix the deposit logo on their beverage packaging (the deposit logo is not applicable on refillable bottles, only on one-way packaging). The system comprises three types of deposit; each one is refundable on delivery of the packaging to the store or outlet. Each type of one-way packaging is identified by a label indicating to which category the packaging belongs. The value of the deposit is laid down by the Danish Ministry of Environment. On top of the registration fee for beverage containers sold by the retail/convenience sector, Dansk Retursystem A/S levies a collection fee to be paid by importer/producer.

Other packaging waste
Municipalities remain responsible for the collection of non-beverage packaging from households, ensuring that it is recycled or prepared for recycling. Households are therefore required to use the facilities for management of packaging waste established by the local authority, and pay for the services via a general waste tax.

Businesses must source-separate their waste so that significant fractions are sorted for recycling. They must ensure that it is collected and delivered to a registered recycling plant or to an approved and registered collector who will deliver it to a registered recycling plant. Municipalities must ensure that businesses have access to the same local waste recycling sites as households, though they may charge for this.

The expenditure of the packaging system are also covered by taxes on:

  • Beverage containers (at reduced rates for drinks subject to mandatory deposits). The tax is charged per unit of packaging, the tax rate depending on the size of the container and the material it is made from;
  • Paper and plastic carrier bags with handles, disposable tableware and vending cups, and on specified PVC film packaging.

Voluntary agreement on transport packaging
The Danish industry had implemented a voluntary agreement with the authorities regarding packaging waste. The agreement has been canceled by the Danish EPA. Instead the EPA published a resource plan in late 2013. This plan sets out recycling targets towards 2022 and aims at a recycling rate of 50% of the household waste. Each municipal is accountable for reaching theses recycling targets. The packaging waste must be separated at source and recycled if possible.

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  • EUROPEN March 2012 - European and National Legislation on Packaging and the Environment
  • Website Pro Europe : http://pro-e.org/Denmark
  • Website DRS: www.dansk-retursystem.dk
  • Voluntary Agreement of 14 September 1994 on PET
  • Voluntary agreement of February 2000 on transportpackaging
  • Consolidated Act no. 101 of 13 February 2001 on taxes on certain packaging, certain paper or plastic bags, disposable tableware and PVC films, as last amended by Act no. 523 of 17 June 2008
  • Statutory Order on Deposits and Collection etc. of Packaging for Beer and certain Soft Drinks amended in 2007
  • Act no. 475 of 7 June 2001 amending the Danish Act on environmental protection (Deposit and return systems)
  • Statutory Order no.104 of 27th January 2014 on deposits and collection etc. of packaging for beer and certain soft drinks (Deposits and Fees Order)

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