Outlining the jurisdiction regarding to packaging and packaging waste in Denmark are the consolidated Act on Environment Protection Law no. 1757 of 22 December 2006, the Act on Taxation of Certain Packaging and Carrying Bags (no. 101 of 13 February 2001, changed in 2008), and the statutory instrument no. 634 of 17 June 2008 on a special return(able) scheme for beverage cartons.
The scheme for packaging waste in Denmark differentiates itself considerably from other programs typically found in the European Union. The reason for this is that Denmark, once the EU Directive was introduced for the first time, already had a waste disposal system in place which successfully met the recycling goals set by the new Directive. A (renewed) implementation of the EU Directive was, therefore, unnecessary.
With regards to the packaging waste the jurisdiction indicates that the private user (recycling) and the municipalities (handling) are responsible for the recycling and the handling of packaging waste. Packaging waste is not collected separately for further processing.
For this purpose, a separate purchase tax is imposed (Punktafgifter) on all packaging of domestic users of packaging and, respectively, the importers of packaged products, the calculation of which is based on the weight and the type of material.
Currently, producers of packaging only need to comply with directives on minimizing the size and avoiding the usage of harmful substances. Transport packaging is not subject to collection and recycling fees, however, there is an agreement to recycle these on a voluntary basis. The collection and sorting of packaging waste is financed in part by a waste tax which is paid by households. The tax rate is determined by analysing the life cycle of the product, e.g. based on the amount of receptacles or on how often the waste is collected.
A special arrangement exists for return schemes. For this scheme, importers also need to report to the monopolistic scheme Dansk Return System (DRS) and pay charges. Penalties are only given in Denmark when the stipulations on harmful substances are violated.