On this page you can find an outline of what we know so far about the upcoming Danish implementation of the producer responsibility for packaging and packaging waste.
What we know so far
In Denmark, the producer responsibility for packaging must enter into force on 1 January 2025 at the latest. An act has been passed and adopted, but we are still awaiting the statutory order. The order will detail the provisions about which businesses will be covered by the duty of registration and reporting, financial responsibility, and the distribution of roles among the parties. The statutory order is expected to be in process from autum 2023 until early 2024, and with full implementation by january 2025.
The schedule for the Danish packaging legislation
News about timeline regarding the implementation process concerning the Danish producer responsibility for packaging, and especially the anticipated Danish regulation. The more detailed provisions regarding producer responsibility for packaging appear to be in a postphoned legislative process.See the new implementation timeline
From directive to regulation
On 30 November 2022, the EU Commission presented a proposal to amend the packaging directive. Based on the objective for the Member States to apply the rules equally and simultaneously, the expanded and enhanced requirements for the future production of packaging and the handling of waste from it, have been formulated as a regulation - and not as previously a directive. The purpose of the highly detailed regulation can be briefly expressed as: Less packaging waste, more recycling and refilling and only reusable packaging by 2030 at the latest.Press release of the EU Commission
The rules are the same
The regulatory mechanisms are fundamentally the same for all product groups covered by producer responsibility – both in Denmark and the EU. Therefore, the packaging sector follows the same principles regarding national registration and reporting obligations for the companies included, including requirements for financing schemes and achieving specified environmental goals.
What is packaging?
According to the current “Regulation on Certain Requirements for Packaging”:
Packaging means 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. All disposable products used for the same purpose are also considered as packaging.
Packaging and distribution of responsibilities
The categorisation of packaging is based on the material of which the packaging is made. Next, the shape, application and use will affect all or part of the set of rules. Generally, the conception, design and use of the product plays an important role in this set of rules.
Packaging is made of the materials listed below, and you should use this categorisation in your registration and reporting of quantities.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
Food and drink cartons
Packaging is also categorised after its use. Packaging is divided into the groups primary, secondary, and tertiary. In addition, there is a special type of packaging called “service packaging”.
Primary packaging - also called sales packaging - is closest to the product. First level of protection af the product and conceived so as to constitute a sales unit to the final user or consumer at the point of purchase. Primary packaging is an active part of the product’s appearance.
Secondary packaging - also known as multi-pack or retail packaging - Grouped packaging displaying a product together with identical or similar products in the shop or point of purchase. It can be removed from the product without affecting its characteristics.
Tertiery packaging also known as transport packaging, i.e. packaging conceived so as to facilitate handling and transport of a number of sales units or grouped packagings in order to prevent damage due physical handling and transport.
So called "Service packagings" are basically empty packagings filled at the point of sale.
All producer responsibility fields are covered by targets for collection of used products and materials per member state. Of these collected quantities there are furthermore minimum requirements for recycling and recovery of each material group, in percent by weight. These targets for recycling and recovery apply to each member state, and also to each business or compliance scheme subject to producer responsibility.
Percentage targets for recycling of packaging materials
|Material||Current targets (weight%)||Coming targets (weight%) - from 2025||Coming targets (weight%) - from 2030|
|Metal (ferrous)||50 (incl. Al)||70||80|
Source: EUROSTAT and Packaging-directive 2018/852
Packaging definitions and concepts
In addition to the different categorisations of packaging materials, the design, conception, and use also determine what you have to do as a producer, user or importer of packaging in Denmark. Therefore, in the following we give an outline of concepts and definitions that are key in the packaging legislation; they may indicate whether your business is subject to a responsibility.
Other packaging therms
In addition to the above, there are a number of other concepts and definitions that, combined, may decide which requirements your business may have to meet in connection with the producer responsibility for packaging.
For example, the packaging directive defines “service packaging” as follows:
- Service packaging – “Items designed and intended to be filled at the point of sale and ‘disposable’ items sold, filled or designed and intended to be filled at the point of sale shall be considered to be packaging provided they fulfil a packaging function.”
Further to the description of service packaging it may be needed to make a distinction between ”empty” and ”filled” packaging.
The definition of reusable packaging in the “Regulation on Certain Requirements for Packaging” is as follows: “Packaging that has been designed, shaped, and placed on the market with the intention of undergoing a number of trips or cycles by being refilled or reused for the same purpose for which it was conceived.
So, a distinction is made between packaging conceived for being used one or more times. In particular, the choice of materials and product design decide whether a packaging can be used more than once. Thereby, it is primarily the person responsible for the packaging design and choice who can affect the packaging’s impact on the environment.
Therefore, it will most often be the business that can affect the choice of packaging that will be subject to producer responsibility; generally, this will be the brand owner and the owner of the product to be filled in the packaging.
A specially regulated packaging type that is also a single-use plastic product; it is therefore regulated in the single-use plastics directive and the packaging directive.
Lightweight is broken down into the following values:
“Lightweight plastic carrier bags”: plastic carrier bags with a wall thickness below 50 microns
“Very lightweight plastic carrier bags”: plastic carrier bags with a wall thickness below 15 microns which are required for hygiene purposes or provided as primary packaging for loose food when this helps to prevent food wastage.
In the packaging directive this regulation means that EU countries must set up permanent targets for the reduction of consumption, including a maximum consumption of 40 bags per person and year no later than 2025. Incentives may be created by targets and pricing, including the requirement that lightweight carrier bags must not be handed out free of charge as from December 2018.
In the Regulation on Certain Requirements for Packaging, the threshold for lightweight bags and other bags is indeed a thickness of >30 micrometers.
Who has producer responsibility in Denmark?
According to the draft of the first part of the packaging regulation, the definition of a registration and reporting obligation for businesses is as follows:
Producer: Any natural or legal person, regardless of the method of sale used, including distance selling, who:
- a) Is established in Denmark and fills or has filled packaging in Denmark and markets these filled packages under their own name or trademark, except for subparagraphs d and e.
- b) Is established in Denmark and fills or has filled packaging in Denmark and markets these filled packages and is not covered by subparagraph a, except for subparagraphs d and e.
- c) Is established in Denmark and imports and markets filled packages.
- d) Is established in Denmark and imports or manufactures service packaging or reusable packaging and markets these.
- e) Is established in Denmark and imports or manufactures and markets single-use plastic beverage containers and cups that are not designed and intended to be filled at the point of sale.
- f) Is established in another EU Member State or a third country and, through remote selling, sells packaging or filled packaging for business purposes.
Individual or collective compliance
Similar to other producer responsibility fields those of you who are subject to the producer responsibility can choose to assume this producer responsibility individually or you can join a collective scheme. If you deal in electronics or batteries and are already affiliated to a collective scheme, you may check whether this scheme will also cover the producer responsibility for packaging. If so, you only need to report in one place.
We expect registration can be made from january 2024. It is not possible to register for producer responsibility for packaging before this date
See marking requirements and codes to be used for packaging products
See the statutory basis for producer responsibility for packaging
See legislation on future minimum requirements for all producer responsibility fields
Find producer registers in other EU countries
32.5 million tonnes
of cardboard packaging waste in 2020 in EU
15.5 million tonnes
of plastic packaging waste in 2020 in EU
15.5 million tonnes
of glass packaging waste in 2020 in EU
225.8 kg /year
of packaging per EU resident