Financial consequences

Based on a "polluter pays" principle, the producer responsibility for packaging must help ensure that economic incentives are created to take greater responsibility for the environmental consequences that our consumption and management of packaging waste cause today.

The total cost for this is estimated at around 2.35 billion DKK, which will be shifted from citizens' waste fees for the collection and management of household waste to having to be financed by the producers themselves when producer responsibility comes into force in 2025.

Producers will not have to cover costs for non-packaging waste and therefore there will still be a citizen-paid fee for the collection and handling of household waste that does not constitute packaging (non-packaging waste).

This is probably what it will cost

Packaging reduction and ecodesign must pay off for companies, and it will therefore be a requirement that Producer Responsibility Organisations (PRO) modulate the costs that you have to pay for in an environmental way. This means that if you design packaging which can be reused or recycled, you will pay less for waste management than if you market packaging that can only be incinerated. The criteria for when to pay more or less will be determined by the state, and are expected to be known in the second quarter of 2024.

See the timeline for the implementation of the producer responsibility here. 

The total bill will probably consist of the following three parts:

  • a price per kilogram of packaging based on the principle of full cost recovery;
  • an environmentally graduated contribution, i.e. environmental redistribution, which should encourage incentives to increase the level of reuse and recycling.
  • an administration fee.

Environmental modulation shall ensure cost neutrality for each material category so that, overall, companies in a material category do not pay more or less than the actual costs of waste treatment.

It is expected that the environmental modulation will be based on a so-called bonus/malus model, where companies that market packaging that cannot be recycled or reused will be charged a malus (which is determined by the state), e.g. a fixed percentage of the actual costs on top. This additional revenue must then be redistributed to the companies designing for recycling.

The "polluter pays" principle

In a producer responsibility system, companies are given responsibility for collecting and recycling the products they market - in this case all packaging - on the basis of a "polluter pays principle".

The "polluter pays" principle is enshrined in the EU Maastricht Treaty and is an economic principle that companies are responsible for their own pollution.

This means that with the introduction of the producer responsibility for packaging in 2025, the companies covered will bear the full cost of collecting, sorting, processing and recycling their packaging.

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