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Minimum requirements for producer responsibility

Most recent statutory measures and common features are that all national producer responsibility fields are subject to a number of minimum requirements. Minimum requirements follow from the revised parts 8 and 8a of the waste framework regulation. Therefore, all Danish statutory orders (electronics, batteries, vehicles) are being revised, just as new statutory orders on producer responsibility for single-use plastic products (first, cigarette filters) and packaging (2025) contain provisions with the main purpose of enhancing the impact of the producer responsibility system.

Why minimum requirements and what do they entail?

Publishing achievement of environmental targets

Publishing your achievement of environmental targetsAfter more than ten years with producer responsibility legislation in all EU countries the EU Commission has identified some problems across the member states that constitute a barrier to the purpose and benefit from the producer responsibility model.

Issues across EU countries having led to the adoption of minimum requirements for national producer responsibility schemes:

  • Weak national legislation and limited enforcement by authorities
  • Unlimited room for manoeuvre with competing compliance schemes
  • Unclear role and distribution of responsibilities among players
  • Ambiguous relation among compliance schemes and local authorities
  • Transparency
  • Unreliable and incomparable data and monitoring tools – since every country makes its own interpretations and calculation methods
  • Lack of cooperation in value chain

Therefore, the revision of the waste framework directive, as a novelty, has introduced binding and mandatory requirements for all nationally implemented producer responsibility systems. The requirements, which apply to the member state as authority and the in-scope businesses, are outlined in the following table:

National state Individual complier or compliance scheme
Defined distribution of roles and responsibilities ensuring level playing field More transparency in economy of compliance schemes
Impartial system for data collection, quality assurance, monitoring Requirements for own control and documentation
Introduction of incentives for higher recyclability Modulated fees according to environmental profile of products
Measurable environmental objectives  Requirements for publication of environmental target attainment

In remarks 2019/1 LSF 112, point 2.2. for adopted amendments to the Danish Environmental Protection Act the purpose is described as follows:

“The general minimum requirements should reduce costs and improve the results, and they should ensure a level playing field including for SME and e-businesses, removing the barriers to a well-working internal market.

They should also contribute to incorporating the costs caused by end-of-life products in the product price, giving producers the incentive in the design of their products to show more consideration for recyclability, reusability, repairability, and presence of dangerous substances.

All in all, these requirements should improve administration and transparency of schemes for extended producer responsibility, reducing the risk of conflicts of interest among organisations assuming commitments regarding extended producer responsibility on behalf of producers of products and waste operators engaged by such organisations. Requirements should apply to new and existing schemes for extended producer responsibility. However, a transitional period is needed for existing systems for extended producer responsibility so their structures and procedures can be adapted to the new requirements.”

These requirements will enter into force in January 2023.

See Part 8 of Waste directive

See Danish Environmental Protection Act no. 100 of 19/01/2022