Netherlands (The) Flag

Netherlands (The)

Geographical size 
41 540 km²

16 829 289 (2014)

GDP (Billion euro)
602,658 billion EUR (2013)

All producers and importers releasing packaging (incl. service packaging) onto the Dutch market.
Extra requirements for producers and importers releasing more than 50,000 kg packaging in a year onto the Dutch market (See further: “Legislation and specific items”).

Trade & Industry

All products made of any materials of any nature to be used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods, from raw materials to processed goods, from the producer to the user or the consumer. 'Non-returnable` items used for the same purposes shall also be considered to constitute packaging. This includes sales/primary, grouped/secondary, and transport/tertiary packaging (cfr. definition in Directive 2004/12/EC).

An Industrial packaging is a packaging which is intended to be discarded by companies in their commercial/industrial waste and for which the entire value chain, from the packer/importer till the end user who empties the container, consists excl. of business users. Only those producers or importers whose packaging consists almost exclusively of industrial packaging (at least 82 percent) can benefit from the special arrangement for industrial packaging and the lower fees applied therein1
In the Netherlands, some specific packaging is considered as “logistiek hulpmiddel”.2 This type of packaging is exempted from the fees to be paid to the accredited organisation but, as of 2016, it is subject to the reporting obligation to the extent that this type of packaging is not designed or intented to be used multiple times. The weight of the rest of this packaging is estimated by Afvalfonds Verpakkingen in a separate way.

1A list is available to distinguish HH primary packaging from T&I primary packaging:
2Packaging that is mainly used for the transport of products, or tertiary packaging.
3A list of product considered as ‘logistiek hulpmiddel” is available:


All products made of any materials of any nature to be used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods, from raw materials to processed goods, from the producer to the user or the consumer. 'Non-returnable` items used for the same purposes shall also be considered to constitute packaging. This includes sales/primary, grouped/secondary, and transport/tertiary packaging (cfr. definition in Directive 2004/12/EC).

A Household packaging is a packaging of products which are predominantly intended to be discarded by households.



All material (namely paper/cardboard (incl.beverage carton), plastics, glass, wood, metals, other…)

Overall recovery target: 75%
Overall recycling target (2013): 70% with specific recycling target for cardboard (75%), plastic (43%), metal (85%), wood (27%) & glass (90%)
From 2013 to 2022, the targets for plastics and wood will be raised, each year, by one percentage point and two percentage points respectively. In 2022, the targets will be fixed at 52% for plastics, and 45% for wood.

Producers and importers of more than 50,000 kg of packaging have to register and pay a fee to the Afvalfonds Verpakkingen.

Not mandatory
Nedvang holds the exclusive licence to use the Green Dot symbol in the Netherlands

  • Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

    All questions may also be asked to the Public Information Service of the Dutch Government   
    Phone: +31 70 4656767

Part Legislation and specific items

In the Netherlands, producers and importers of packaged products are legally responsible for the prevention, collection and recycling of packaging waste. This producer responsibility follows the European directive on packaging and packaging waste which has been implemented in Dutch national legislation by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment via the Packaging Decree 2014 (in Dutch).

In practice there are four main responsibilities related to packaging for producers and importers of packed products. These responsibilities are::

  1. To meet the Essential Requirements;
    1. Packaging volume and weight must be the minimum amount to maintain the necessary levels of safety, hygiene and acceptance for the packaged product, and for the consumer.
    2. Packaging must be manufactured so as to permit reuse or recovery in accordance with specific requirements.
    3. Noxious or hazardous substances in packaging must be minimised in emissions, ash or residues from incineration or landfill.
  2. To meet the limits on heavy metal concentration levels;
  3. To record and account for the amount of packaging released onto the Dutch market;
  4. To register to the Packaging Waste Fund if the amount of packaging released onto the Dutch market is more than 50,000 kg in a year.
  5. To collect packaging waste and to meet recycling targets, for each of the materials glass, paper/cardboard, plastics, metals, wood, and all materials together.

The “Besluit beheer verpakkingen 2014”, the Dutch packaging decree, makes producers and importers responsible for eco designing their packaging and for achieving material specific recycling targets.
Municipalities are responsible to collect the waste of citizens within their borders based on the “Wet milieubeheer”, the Dutch environment act. Furthermore, they have to collect at least paper/cardboard, glass and plastic packaging separately.

As a result of the laws above with overlapping responsibilities for the collection of packaging waste, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the Association of Dutch municipalities and producers/importers have signed a covenant, the “Raamovereenkomst Verpakkingen” or packaging agreement. The first packaging agreement was signed in 2007, the second one in 2012 and is valid from 2013 until 2022.

Based on the desire of all parties, producers/importers guarantee that they will have one robust organization that finances extended producer responsibility for packaging. Afvalfonds Verpakkingen is this aforementioned organization. It has signed a contract with large producer association for fast moving consumer goods, non-food and industrial packaging, and by publication in the official Dutch state gazette (“Staatscourant”), this agreement is declared legally binding for all producers/importers.

Afvalfonds Verpakkingen has taken over the responsibility from producers/importers to reach the recycling targets as published in the packaging decree.

The binding Waste Management Contribution Agreement (ABBO, in Dutch) between all producers and importers and Afvalfonds Verpakkingen, came into effect on the 1st of January 2013. The Afvalfonds Verpakkingen establishes and collects the packaging waste management contribution for HH and Industrial packaging, and outsources other tasks to various organisations through service level agreements and/or funding. These organisations include:

  1. Nedvang: Monitoring of the recycled packaging waste, calculating recycling results, maintaining contracts and contacts with municipalities and waste management companies, and commmunication
  2. Nederland Schoon: Prevent packaging litter
  3. Netherlands Institute for Sustainable Packaging: The Packaging Agreement provided for the establishment of the Netherlands Institute for Sustainable Packaging (Kennisinstituut Duurzaam Verpakken), which is now operational and responsible for the packaging sustainability agenda. The Institute is an independent foundation, governed by the organisations involved in the Packaging Agreement: the municipalities, national government and the producers and importers.

The monitoring of the quantity of packaging put on the market and recycled packaging waste is done according to a specific protocol: the “basisdocument monitoring verpakkingen”. This document gives definitions, describes roles and responsibilities, and also describes the process of writing, handing in, controlling and publishing the results. In order to consult this document, please click on:

Afvalfonds Verpakkingen

  • To implement the Packaging Agreement;
  • To establish and maintain an administrative system that is adapted to the current waste management system to achieve national recycling targets (largely outsourced to Nedvang);
  • To work with municipalities and other parties to compensate for the collection or processing of (separated) waste packaging and additional projects to prevent or dispose of litter (largely outsourced to Nedvang, except for the payment function);
  • To communicate and stimulate stakeholders to collect separately and to recycle (largely outsourced to Nedvang);
  • To minimize packaging litter (partly outsourced to Nederland Schoon);
  • To establish and collect the fees from producers and importers (packaging waste management contribution).
  • To collect information from producers and importers (quantities put on the market).


  • The waste Management Contribution Agreement or “Afvalbeheersbijdrageovereenkomst” (ABBO).
  • The packaging decree (“Besluit beheer verpakkingen en papier en karton”)
  • The Packaging Agreement for 2013-2022
  • The Environment act (“Wet milieubeheer”)
  • Website Afvalfonds Verpakkingen:
  • Website Nedvang:
  • EUROPEN March 2012 - European and National Legislation on Packaging and the Environment
  • PRO EUROPE – Uniformity in Diversity – Producer Responsibility in Action – October 2010.

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