How consumers recycle packaging in Denmark

Read this to find out how to recycle packaging when you visit Denmark.

By Genero

Photo Getty Images

In Denmark, municipalities organise the collection of consumer packaging waste. Households sort their waste into ten types, and the packaging types are plastic, food carton, beverage carton, cardboard, glass and metal. Packaging waste is collected together with other waste of the same material, which means, for example, that the plastic waste container also includes plastics other than packaging.

Wooden packaging is not part of the consumer collection system, but must be taken to a recycling centre, where you can also take all other types of packaging. If households are not able to sort their waste, they can take it to a recycling point near their home.

Denmark has had a deposit system for drink bottles and cans since 2002, and it is operated by Dansk Retursystem. 92% of all bottles and cans are currently recycled, and the target is to increase the recycling rate to 98%.

As the producer responsibility system is relatively new in Denmark, the government is still working on legislation. What we do know, however, is that there may be more than one producer organisation with producer responsibility on the market in the future.

The responsibility to collect packaging waste will be transferred from the municipalities to these organisations, such as Vana, and they will make an offer for the collection to the municipalities. Every organisation with producer responsibility will have to handle a volume of packaging waste that is equivalent to the market share of its members.