Packaging waste legislation in Denmark

Denmark as one of the EU Member states is bound by the provisions of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. However, the transposition in national legislation took a different turn compared to other countries because Denmark already had a packaging waste management system in place, thanks to which the targets set by the Directive had already been reached in 2001.

Thus, the transposition of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive had little effect on recycling in general. A deposit system runs for beverage packaging, all other packaging household waste streams – for which no separate collection has been organised – fall under the responsibility of municipalities.

The overall legal framework for waste management is given by the Environmental Protection Act. However specific Statutory Orders transposed the provisions relating to packaging and packaging waste.

There is no producer-responsibility scheme in Denmark. It is the only Member State that has opted for the internalisation of packaging waste management costs rather than setting up an industry-run funding system.

Packaging is not separated from household waste, and the costs for its management are included in budget of local authorities, to the exception of glass.

  • The management of household and commercial packaging waste falls under the responsibility of private operators (recycling) and local authorities (treatment),
  • A deposit-return system operates for one-way beverage container packaging and refillable bottles.  

Denmark has transposed the provisions on essential requirements and heavy metals limits in a Statutory Order of 1997.



The Danish Environmental Protection Agency

Haraldsgade 53

2100 København Ø

Anne Mette Bendsen

Division of Waste
+45 72 54 43 12

Further information:

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