The Green Dot Financing Symbol
The Green Dot® is a financing symbol for producer responsibility (EPR) - not an eco-label. We explain why here.
Since the early 1990s, producer responsibility for packaging has been an integral part of European environmental policy (-> European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62 + national legislation). The idea behind this is that producers must take back and recycle the packaging they put on the market. Nationally recognised recovery systems such as the organisations united in the umbrella company PRO Europe s.r.l. perform this task, organise collection, sorting and recycling of the packaging and thus implement producer responsibility for the producers concerned.
Of course, this costs money. The industry pays the take-back systems participation fees for the packaging it sells in the respective countries. In order to make it clear that one has thus assumed responsibility for one's packaging, a contract can be concluded on a voluntary basis with the individual PRO Europe systems for the use of the trademark Green Dot® on packaging.
THE GREEN DOT
The Green Dot® on packaging thus indicates that a financial contribution has been paid to a nationally authorised take-back system.
- Green Dot® is a financing symbol and not an environmental symbol.
The Green Dot® is protected worldwide under trademark law and may in principle only be used on the basis of an effective contract.
- The use of the Green Dot® symbol is subject to strict guidelines.
Why protect the Green Dot
It is extremely important to protect the Green Dot in the best possible way for several reasons:
- To ensure the functioning of the financing of the Green Dot schemes by licensing this trademark to the obliged fillers and retailers
- To ensure the possibility for setting up other national self-help-organisations of industry using the Green Dot as a financing symbol
- To ensure that no third parties may ask royalties from our licensees using the Green Dot on their packaging.
You want to conclude a contract with one of our members?
For concluding a contract, you have to apply directly to the national recovery organization in the country you distribute your packed products. You sell to several countries? In this case, you are obliged to conclude separate trademark contracts with the national ‘Green Dot’ organisations. In order to support you in this task, we have put together a full list of members and contact details.
The Green Dot trademark first was registered by its owner, the first ‘Green Dot’ scheme “Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH” (DSD) in 1990. Based on these registrations, the Green Dot has obtained and established trademark rights in approximately 170 countries all over the world. DSD has transferred a general license for the trademark for Europe (with the exception of Germany) to PRO Europe in 1995, to ensure that the obliged industry could use a uniform financing symbol on their packaging in all European countries and thus protect the free movement of goods in the EU internal market.
Regarding countries where no ‘Green Dot’ schemes or co-operation partnership exists - mainly outside Europe - PRO Europe and its members have decided to offer a Royalty Free Licensing Agreement for world-wide use of the Green Dot trademark.