Get answers to your questions about producer responsibility for packaging

Be well prepared in order to live up to your producer responsibility when it comes into force in July 2025, and for your reporting and registration, which must already take place in 2024.

Read more about:

  • Producer responsibility
  • Registration and reporting
  • VANA and PROs (Producer responsibility Organisations)
  • Packaging and design
  • Waste management
  • Concepts in the Executive Order
  • Link external guides

Producer responsibility

From July 2025, all companies that put packaging on the Danish market will be responsible for financing and organising the collection, sorting and treatment of their packaging when it becomes waste.

It will be a large and complex task for the individual company, and most manufacturers therefore choose to solve the task through a PRO (Producer Responsibility Organisation) such as VANA.

The producer responsibility for packaging is determined in the EU directive for packaging and packaging waste.

Read more about the producer responsibility for packaging here.

 

The purpose of introducing extended producer responsibility for packaging in Denmark is to promote a circular economy where:

  • no unnecessary packaging is used
  • greater use is made of reusable packaging
  • real recycling of packaging waste is taking place
  • recycled materials are used to make new packaging
  • It is significantly more expensive to use environmentally harmful packaging compared to environmentally friendly packaging
  • The solutions are cost-effective.

This is done by incentivising companies to produce more environmentally friendly packaging by placing responsibility for this at the stage of the value chain that has the greatest influence on packaging design – also known as the polluter-pays principle.

Read about the producer responsibility for packaging here.

The extended producer responsibility for packaging will enter into force on 1 July 2025. But already in April 2024 affected companies must have registered with Dansk Producentansvar (DPA) (Danish Producer Responsibility) and report expected packaging quantities for 2024. 

The 2024 figures are thus considered a kind of "baseline" for the producer responsibility in the start-up year 2025. DPA allocates waste volumes to the Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs) for 2025 based on the companies' reported expected volumes for 2024. Therefore, it is also important to join the Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) VANA now, so that we can achieve the best economies of scale on behalf of our members.

Read more about how to join and membership of VANA here. 

See the status of implementation of the producer responsibility here. 

In relation to the registration obligations (the first registration takes place March 2024), it is a good idea already now to check which packaging your company puts on the market - what materials are the packaging made of and how much do they weigh?
Read more abouot the requirements for registration here.

Review your packaging now and see where it can be improved environmentally or minimized. You can read more about the possibilities to prepare. Read more about the option for preparation here.

The general rule is that producer responsibility belongs to the producer that makes packaging available on the Danish market.

Read more and check whether your company is covered here.

Read more about the producer responsibility here.

Read more about packaging types here.

Executive orders
Read the executive order on registration and reporting of packaging here.

Read the executive order on certain requirements for packaging here.

Single-use plastic products

It is not only packaging that will be subject to the producer responsibility – also certain single-use plastic products will have to pay for the costs of collection, clean-up and waste treatment. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has submitted a draft executive order on extended producer responsibility for single-use plastic products for consultation.

 See requirements for single-use plastic products here

Companies that put less than 8 tons of packaging available on the Danish market annually can choose to report less information about their packaging. They are therefore subject to fewer administrative burdens.

This does not mean that the company is exempted from the producer responsibility.

The company is still obliged to register and report packaging quantities, as well as paying for costs associated with the collection and treatment of packaging, corresponding to what is made available on the market.

Read more about registration of company and expected quantities of packaging here.

With the implementation of the producer responsibility comes an obligation to provide information on the correct handling of packaging and packaging waste and avoid littering (duty of disclosure).

The political agreement stipulates that this obligation will be fulfilled by the state at the expense of the companies. Based on the draft of Environmental Protection Act, it is therefore expected that the obligation will lie with the municipalities and the Environmental Protection Agency. The executive order to implement this is scheduled for mid 2024.

As a company covered by the producer responsibility for packaging, you must cover the costs for collection, transport and waste treatment of your packaging.

Read more about prices for being a member of VANA here and the financial consequences in connection with the producer responsibility here.

The eco-modulated fees are an economic structure to ensure increased incentive to produce/have packaging produced that is reusable or recyclable.

The authorities determines the ecomodulation as well as the design requirements that form the basis of the modulating. The Environmental Protection Agency has published a draft of the proposed design requirements, which can be found here: Model for ecomodulated fees | Vana (til den engelske).

The statutory order with the final text is expected in June 2024.

The EU directive on packaging and packaging waste sets a broad overall framework for the member states: It is up to the individual member states how they want to implement the legislation in practice. This means that there are national differences in the legislation of producer responsibility for packaging across Europe.

If your company puts packaging on the market in countries other than Denmark, you must therefore comply with the respective country's rules for the producer responsibility for packaging.

Read more about international obligations here.

Read more about VANA's partnerships regarding data handling and international compliance here

In the upcoming EU packaging regulation, the plan is to harmonise the rules across Europe, so that it will be easier for companies to live up to the producer responsibility across the EU.
Read more about the legislation here. 

Registrering og reporting

In 2024, you must register your company and report your expected available packaging quantities on the Danish market in 2024.

Read more about registration and the repæorting obligation in 2024 heeæs mere om registrering og indberetningspligten i 2024 here.

From 1 July 2025, you must report based on the design requirements for environmental graduation, which the authorities are preparing.

Read more about data collection requirements for 2025 here.

If the packaging consists of several materials, which cannot easily be separated, the combined weight must be reported in the material category of which the packaging mainly consists of.

In other areas of implementation, the authorities have defined weight as the decisive factor. Until there is a guide, we would therefore recommend that you evaluate "mainly" based on the material that weighs the most in the packaging.

See also VANAs Guide Reporting of packaging volumes 2024 (vana.dk).

The Environmental Protection Act, which sets the framework for the producer responsibility, does not apply to the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Therefore, it is only the packaging that you make available on the Danish market that you must report.

 

A package or refilled packaging is registered and paid for under the producer responsibility in Denmark – the customer has subsequently exported it out of the country.

What do you do?

A draft amendment to the Environmental Protection Act from 2023 states that the Ministry of the Environment will create a legal basis for companies, subject to documentation, to be reimbursed for the reported packaging if the products are not marketed in Denmark anyway.  

We do not know the specific wording of the rules until the legislation is put out for consultation again (expected in June 2024).

Based on this, it is VANA's expectation that in the specific case where a company has sold a product in Denmark (and thus reported and paid), but where your customer subsequently exports the product, will be able to get a refund of what has been reported.

VANA and Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs)

A Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO) is a private company that offers companies subject to the producer responsibility to handle the administrative and practical tasks associated with the producer responsibility for packaging on their behalf.

However, it is still the producer responsible company which is responsible for collecting data on its own packaging and registering these with the PRO.

The PRO VANA will, on behalf of producers and importers, handle the legal, financial, and practical responsibility for collecting, sorting, and recycling packaging. This ensures economies of scale and thereby better economics of commitments. The more members a PRO has, the larger the (waste) packaging volumes are accrued to the PRO the better the tenders can thus be made.

Read more about PROs and which tasks the solve.

Read more about VANA membership here .

As a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO), VANA will assume the statutory producer responsibility on behalf of the covered companies that have joined the scheme -  legally, financially and practically.

At VANA we see it as our task to make it as simple and straightforward to comply with the producer responsibility as possible, e.g., by developing an easy and clear reporting system for our members, so that you only must deal with reporting data in one place.

Read more about PROs here.

The short answer is no. However, if you choose not to be a member of a Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO), you will have to pay for the collection and treatment of the packaging you put on the market from July 2025. In practice, it can be almost impossible (and financially very expensive) to live up to your obligations in the producer responsibility if you are outside a PRO.

If you put more than 8 tons of packaging on the market per year, and thus is above the so-called minimum limit, you must be registered in a PRO, unless you can prove that you collect and treat packaging waste yourself similar to what you put on the market.

If you are below the minimum limit of 8 tons, you can still benefit from being a member of VANA and get help and sparring with how live up to your obligations in the producer responsibility - but you do not have to be part of a PRO. 

Read more about the limit of 8 tonnes here.

VANA ensures economies of scale

The more companies that join the PRO, the better economy can be created in the system. The larger (waste) packaging quantities which are allocated to VANA based on our members' reported packaging quantities, the better tenders we can make. This way we can ensure economies of scale and better finances for all our members.

Read more about the benefits of joining a PRO like VANA here.

You register your company with VANA via this link.

A membership of VANA gives access to advice and sparring with our consultants, all knowledge content on the website (marked with a padlock) and webinars only for members of VANA with the latest and updated knowledge about the producer responsibility for packaging. 

With a membership, you will be well equipped to live up to the upcoming producer responsibility for packaging and continuously informed about important dates and deadlines.

Membership of VANA is free and non-binding until April 2024, when registration with DPA starts up. 

Read more about the benefits of joining the PRO VANA.

In many cases, it will be possible to document that the producer and therefore the producer responsibility lies with i.e. a parent company, if they are, for example, owners of the trademark. Please see here regarding who is the producer. We recommend that you always document in your self-control mechanism how you have placed the producer responsibility and contact Dansk Producentansvar (DPA) if you are in doubt.

The authorities have stated that the producer responsibility cannot be transferred - what can you do?

  • DPA states that if you want another company to handle the registration and reporting, you can link a person from the other company to your company in MitID Erhverv as a new user. If you wish to have yourself represented by a power of attorney from another company, it is possible to create a “business power of attorney” in MitID Erhverv. Therefore, you can choose to let the primary contact person for the company subject to registration be a person in the main group, etc.

 

 

The four largest Danish business organisations in Denmark, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (Landbrug & Fødevarer), the Danish Chamber of Commerce ( Dansk Erhverv), DagSam (Association of MLDK and the Federation of Retail Grocers Samvirkende Købmænd) and the Confederation of Danish Industry (Dansk Industri), founded VANA in 2021 with the aim of lifting the practical and legal responsibility for the companies that will be covered by the extended producer responsibility on packaging.

With the support of the four founders, VANA is broadly based in the Danish business community and has a solid political foundation. Thereby we represent 80% of Danish companies and cover all industries.

Read more about VANA's background, mission and vision here.

Packaging and design

All packaging is covered by the producer responsibility, except packaging which is covered by the deposit and return system.

Packaging: All products of any kind and material used for the packaging, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods.

Relevant packaging types:

  • sales packaging (primary packaging)
  • grouped packaging (multipack) (secondary packaging)
  • transport packaging (tertiary packaging)
  • service packaging
  • reusable packaging
  • primary production packaging

Se more about packaging here.

To make your business as ready as possible, it is important to keep track of what packaging you have - in other words, what components and materials the packaging consists of.

Find more knowledge and inspiration on how to prepare your company and what data is important here.

By April 2024, all covered companies will have to report expected packaging volumes for 2024 in kilograms for the fractions: paper, cardboard, metal, aluminium, glass, plastic, food and drink cartons and wood. For all categories, it must be furthermore be reported how much packaging ends up in businesses and households, respectively.

Read more about the registration and reporting obligation here.  

Packaging which has been conceived, designed, and placed on the market with the aim of going through a number of trips or cycles during its lifetime by being refilled or reused for the same purpose for which it was conceived.

 

No. Reusable packaging must only be reported when the producer responsibility comes into force on 1 July 2025 (find definition of recycling here).

Therefore, euro pallets which are part of the global recycling system do not have to be reported in the 2024 registration.

Pallet types which are not part of a closed recycling loop MUST be reported in the 2024 registration.

Read more about registration and reporting in 2024 here. 

Reuse of packaging will be supported in the future system by manufacturers using reusable packaging only having to pay once for the packaging’s circulation on the market. For example, if reusable packaging can be circulated 30 times before it is discarded, the fee is paid only once, instead of the 30 times which would have had to been paid for using single-use packaging.

The specific regulation of recycling solutions is not yet in place, but it is a political wish to ensure a flexible framework for manufacturers with new packaging solutions, e.g., recycling and return systems.

NOTE: Reusable packaging is not included in the reporting of packaging quantities for 2024, but must not be registered until 2025.


Read more about regitration and reporting obligation here. 

Clarification from the authorities awaits. We will update continuously.

The Ministry of the Environment has stated that: "In relation to textiles and other packaging materials, which are used to a very small extent today, it is being clarified how they are included in the extended producer responsibility". (VANA translation).

The national recommendations and guidelines on which the eco-graduated contributions will be based have not yet been established. So far, reference is made to the recommendations prepared by Danish and foreign trade associations.

Find inspiration for designing your packaging here.

Eco-friendly packaging is packaging such as:

  • is material minimised
  • are made of a single material (if possible)
  • is easy to sort the source – possibly take apart
  • can effectively be fed into the recycling process
  • retains high value as secondary raw material
  • is reusable packaging.

Get mpre advice and inspiration about eco-design here.

Packaging, designed, and intended to be filled at the point of sale to the end-user. Service packaging also means beverage containers and cups for beverages that are single-use plastic products sold empty and that are not designed and intended to be filled at the point of sale. That is, a store that e.g. sells a roll of single-use plastic cups to consumers for use at home.

Waste management

Private waste collectors will, as they do today, collect waste from businesses and be responsible for further treatment.

The producers will (via the Producer Responsibility Organisation (PRO)) compensate the private collectors for the proportion of the waste which is packaging.

No. Waste producing companies only have to pay for the handling of non-packaging waste. The manufacturer must pay for the part that is packaging.

A packaging is registered in the producer responsibility by the company that first makes it available on the Danish market, with business as end user (producer). When the packaging becomes commercial waste, it is collected, e.g., by a private waste collector, who is compensated by the PRO (Producer Responsible Organisation).  

Read more about waste treatment under producer responsibility here.

General waste packaging

The starting point is that all packaging is reported as ordinary waste. It is only in cases where packaging is designed to be sorted as residual or hazardous waste according to sorting instructions that it does not have to be reported in the category of ordinary waste. See the Danish Environmental Protection Agency's sorting guidelines here

Therefore, most packaging will probably have to be categorised as this type of waste divided into the material categories:

  • cardboard
  • paper
  • ferrous metals
  • aluminium
  • glass
  • plastics
  • Food and drink cartons
  • wood

Packaging for residual waste

Waste not covered by other established collection or referral schemes. This means waste that is not recyclable, is not dangerous or is not covered by another producer responsibility scheme e.g. pizza boxes.

The packaging must be designed to fall under this category. It is not important what you expect the end user will do with the packaging.

Packaging for hazardous waste

Substances, materials or products that have expired, such as chlorine-containing detergents, paints and aerosols, etc., see the Danish Environmental Protection Agency's sorting guidelines here.

Hazardous waste must not contain products that may pose a danger during collection and treatment, such as fireworks.

The packaging must be designed to fall into this category. It does not matter what you expect the end user will do with the packaging.

If in doubt, you can read the Danish Environmental Protection Agency's sorting guide here.

All companies in Denmark that generate waste and therefore need to dispose of it, e.g. by entering into an agreement with a private waste collector, are waste producing companies.

A take-back scheme means that companies can organise themselves to take back their packaging and reuse or recycle it - either in their own production or with another private handler. This can i.e. be deposit schemes.

In a take-back scheme, the company itself handles the collection, sorting and treatment of its packaging waste. It thus differs from, i.e. the situation where a company offers its customers to take-back packaging on delivery, and then dispose of it in their commercial waste.

The rules on own take-back schemes are part of phase 2 of the statutory order on the producer responsibility, which will be published in June 2024

Concepts in the Executive Order

Manufacturer: Any physical or legal person who:

  1. (a) manufactures packaging or filled packaging,
  2. (b) has packaging or filled packaging designed or manufactured under its own name or trademark, irrespective of who produced the packaging or filled packaging and whether other trademarks are visible on the packaging or filled packaging; or
    c) provides packaging or refilled packaging to a micro-enterprise that has the packaging designed or manufactured under its own name or trademark when it comes to transport packaging, recycled packaging, primary production packaging or service packaging.

An importer is any physical or legal person established in the EU who makes packaging, or filled packaging, from a third country available on the EU market.

A distributor is any physical or legal person in the supply chain, other than a manufacturer or importer, who makes packaging or filled packaging available on the Danish market.

Companies which employs fewer than 10 persons and whose annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet total does not exceed EUR 2 million.

Microenterprise’s producer responsibility
If your company falls within the definition of a microenterprise and have transport-, reusable-, service- and primary production packaging produced in your own name or trademark, the provider of the packaging will be responsible with regards to the producer responsibility, if the provider is established in Denmark.

If your company import packaging from outside of Denmark, you as a microenterprise can still be covered by the producer responsibility.

Producer responsibility for sales to microenterprises
If your company produce packaging on behalf of microenterprises, you must be aware that you may be covered by the producer responsibility, even if the packaging is produced under the microenterprise's name or trademark

Definition of availability in the Executive Order:

Delivery of packaging, or pre-filled packaging, for distribution, consumption or use on the Danish market as part of a commercial activity, whether for or without remuneration.

DPA (Dansk Producentansvar) has stated that the decisive factor for availability is who has entered into or mediated the agreement on the packaging/filled packaging, and not who, e.g. has sent and paid the invoice or where the packaging/filled packaging in question is physically located (logistics).

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency has indicated that they are working on a guideline, in which we expect that availability will be further clarified.

An end-user is any physical or legal person residing or established in the EU to whom a packaging, or filled packaging, has been made available, either as a consumer or as a professional end-user, in the course of his/hers industrial or professional activities, and who does not make the packaging, or the filled packaging, available on the market in the form in which it was supplied.

By means of distance contracts (distance selling) means direct sale between the company and the end user of a packaging, where the two parties are not physically present, e.g. online sales.

Distance contracts also covers B2B sales, where the end user is a business.

The statutory order on registration of packaging: Distance contracts are any agreement on the sale or purchase of packaging that is entered into between the producer and the end user, without the simultaneous physical presence of the producer and the end user, and where up to and including the time of the conclusion of the agreement, one or more forms of remote communication techniques are used exclusively, including online sales.

Where can I find more information about the producer responsibility for packaging?

The Danish Environment Agency. View here.

Dansk Producentansvar (DPA): View here.

The packaging executive order:  View here.

The executive order for registration and reporting of packaging. View here.

VANA is working on tools that can help you clarify your responsibility. The FAQ will thus be updated continuously.

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