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Single-use plastic
Tobacco product filters

Special for tobacco product filters

Producer responsibility, marking requirements, and responsibility for cleaning up litter are the key words of the EU environmental regulation for single-use plastic products. Tobacco product filters are the first of ten product groups becoming subject to producer responsibility and thereby to responsibility for cleaning up litter in Denmark.

Filter cigarettes and tobacco product filters

As part of the package on regulation of single-use plastic products filters produced for use with tobacco products are yet another product group that becomes subject to producer responsibility. In this connection, producer responsibility means:

  1. Marking of products
  2. Information about damage and negative impacts relating to littering of waste and about correct disposal
  3. Financing of cleaning of littered cigarette butts and filters, and collection of those in waste receptacles etc.
  4. Undertake and contribute to data gathering on products placed on the market

If you produce or import tobacco product filters into Denmark, you must therefore pay for cleaning up or collection of waste cigarette butts and filters. Financing must cover cleaning up of littered cigarette butts and management through disposal in waste receptacles etc. This is called responsibility for cleaning up litter. Below, you can find explanations for a number of key terms.

Tobacco product filters

Producer responsibility and single-use plastic products

Tobacco product filters are manufactured from plastic cellulose acetate and decompose into microplastics when littered. Cigarette butts are the second most found waste type in the oceans*. As from 5 January 2023 there is a producer responsibility for tobacco product filters. In-scope businesses must register in the producer register from this date and no later than 15 June 2023.

See the EU Commission’s Working Document

What does it mean?

Producer is a common term used for those of you that professionally manufacture or import tobacco product filters into Denmark, irrespective of the selling technique used, including by means of distance contracts.Thereby, producers, importers to Denmark, and businesses abroad dealing in internet trade are subject to producer responsibility in each Member State – in this case in Denmark.If your business does not have a Danish CVR number (VAT no.) you must appoint a Danish Authorised Representative (AR).

Establishment of AR

Be aware of the following if you and your products are affected by this legislation:

The statutory instrument “producer responsibility” is based on the polluter-pays principle. With this, producers and importers are subject to responsibility and a number of requirements relating to their products, also at the end of their useful life.

Registration with DPA

Businesses placing tobacco product filters on the market must register in the producer register. In Denmark, this register is administered by DPA.  For existing producers and importers registration must be made no later than 1 June 2023.

Reporting and payment to Danish Environmental Protection Agency

Every quarter of a year registered businesses report the number of filters sold (reported in pcs); they pay a fee corresponding to DKK 0.072 per filter placed on the market in the period to cover the costs of cleaning up litter.

Financial responsibility for cleaning up litter

By contrast to existing producer responsibility fields under which affected businesses have the responsibility for taking back end-of-life products in view of preparing them for recycling into new products, producers of single-use plastic products have a so-called responsibility for cleaning up litter. (See below)

The purpose of the duty of information is to inform consumers about the impacts from littering and to promote responsible consumer behaviour. Awareness raising measures such as marking and the use of standard texts in connection with the sale of products along with information campaigns – also conducted by the national authorities – must be financed by the affected businesses.

Read more about Marking and Duty of information

(See also general section on single-use plastic products)

Article 8 of the Single-Use Plastics Directive describes the cleaning task as follows:

  • The costs of waste collection for those products that are discarded in public collection systems, including the infrastructure and its operation, and the subsequent transport and treatment of that waste.
  • The costs may include the setting up of specific infrastructure for the waste collection for those products, such as appropriate waste receptacles in common litter hotspots.
  • The costs of cleaning up litter shall be limited to activities undertaken by public authorities or on their behalf.

The tobacco in itself is not subject to this producer responsibility, only the filter. The magnitude of the costs you must pay as a producer or an importer in relation to your responsibility for cleaning up litter is based on the number of filters placed on the market in Denmark. Therefore, you must report and pay a fee not only for the number of filter cigarettes with tobacco, but also for any filters sold in loose sales.

Cigarette filters are made of plastic cellulose acetate, a biologically non-degradable plastic that turns into microplastics. Cigarette filters contain small fibres consisting of cellulose acetate, a semi-synthetic material, and thereby a plastic that takes many years to degrade.

As mentioned above filter cigarettes, filters in loose sales, products for DIY cigarettes, or filters otherwise used in connection with tobacco products are subject to producer responsibility.

Financial issues
The producer responsibility entails that producers and importers of filter cigarettes or tobacco product filters must cover the following costs relative to your market shares:

  • National and local authorities’ cleaning up of litter from the filters (butts) and the subsequent transport and treatment of that waste.
  • National and local authorities’ waste collection for filters that are discarded in public collection systems, including the infrastructure and its operation, and the subsequent transport and treatment of that waste.
  • Awareness raising measures to consumers about waste management options
    and about the impact of filter littering and other inappropriate waste disposal on
    the environment.
  • The Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s gathering and reporting of data on the filters to the EU Commission, and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s administration of fees, including control etc.
  • Danish Producer Responsibility’s (DPA) administration of the register.

The costs to be borne by those who are covered by the rules are calculated such that you report the number of filters sold to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency who calculates the fee using a fixed rate. Reporting and payment to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency is done every quarter of a year.

Administration
Businesses importing or manufacturing tobacco product filters will have some administrative tasks associated with the quarterly fee payment. These include statement of quantities placed on the market, correct marking of products, as well as a limited time consumption in connection with registration in the producer register with DPA.

In addition, there is some administration associated with compliance with the minimum requirements for own control of data reported in connection with the fee payment as well as keeping accounts of quantities placed on the market etc.

And if you are affected?

Data

Registration comes first

You make your registration with DPA, but the number of filters must be reported to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.

Find more information with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency

Financing

Fee payment

Fee rates for your financing of costs for cleaning of litter, public waste collection, and information are set out by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency.

Read more about fees

Legislation

Get a grasp of the rules

Here is a collection of key statutory documents in case you want to get a better grasp of the rules.

Read more about the legislation relating to single-use plastic products

We are here to help

If your business manufactures, imports, or sells filter cigarettes or tobacco product filters directly to end users (e.g., through internet trade) you are covered by the rules and thereby the requirement for registration of the business in the producer register.

In DPA, we provide guidance and make decisions about whether your product is in scope or exempt from the producer responsibility. Therefore, contact us if in doubt.

 

Shortcuts

About registration

See how to register as a producer or an importer in the producer register

Read about tobacco filters

Read about cigarette filters and tobacco product filters subject to producer responsibility for single-use plastic products

Fees

See current fees for products subject to producer responsibility

Single-use plastic - legislation

See the statutory basis for producer responsibility for tobacco product filters (single-use plastic products)

Single-use plastic - product scoping

See which types of single-use plastic products are in scope and check out the exemptions (scoping).

Single-use plastic - marking

Read more about marking requirements for single-use plastic products

Et skodfrit Danmark (Denmark without butts)

See campaign from the Ministry of Environment against cigarette filter littering (in Danish)

European registers

Find producer registers in other EU countries