The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy that makes manufacturers and importers responsible for what happens to the packaging of their products after it has reached its post-consumer stage. This means that companies must pay a fee to an EPR organization, which in turn collects, disposes, and recycles their packaging.
In this guide, we introduce EPR organizations in different EU countries, that can help your company comply with national EPR requirements. Every EU member state has a list of approved EPR organizations. In this article, we only list organizations that are PRO Europe members, which covers most EU countries.
What is Extended Producer Responsibility?
EU Member States have to meet the recycling targets set by the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, which requires return and collection systems to be set up for consumers to drop off their used packaging so that it can be recycled and reused once again.
The Extended Producer Responsibility is a policy that extends the responsibility of producers past the post-consumer stage in order to meet national recycling and environmental safety requirements.
Meaning, that after a consumer has discarded a product’s packaging, the producer is responsible for what happens to it, including collection and recycling. Organizations such as PRO Europe members help companies to collect and also recycle the above-mentioned products, in exchange for a membership fee.
PRO Europe has developed the Green Dot, which is a packaging waste recovery and package recycling system.
Importers and manufacturers can sign an agreement and pay a fee to a PRO Europe national organization, and in exchange, they earn the right to affix the Green Dot symbol to the packaging of their products.
This means that they don’t have to shoulder the responsibility of collecting and recycling the packaging themselves. This process would be taken care of by the PRO Europe organizations in the different EU member states.
However, according to the PRO Europe website, affixing the Green Dot symbol to your packaging is only mandatory in Spain (while in other countries is voluntary).
Also, in some countries, EPR obligations are yet to start, as EU members have time until the end of 2024 to comply with the EPR requirements set by the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
There are 31 nationwide organizations under the PRO Europe umbrella. Each of these organizations is responsible for collecting and recycling waste that comes from packaging materials in their country.
Other EPR organisations
In addition to PRO Europe, there are also other EPR organisations that are approved to provide EPR services. For example, you can find the full list of EPR systems approved in Germany here.
What kind of service do EPR companies provide?
EPR companies, such as PRO Europe organizations, provide a service in which they collect and recycle the packaging waste on behalf of the companies that sign agreements with them, and affix the Green Dot, or other approved symbols, to their packaging.
They also provide a platform on which companies can rely for up-to-date information about their packaging that has reached the end of their consumer lifespan.
Since every EU member state has different organizations and a different way of dealing with the recycling and recovery of packaging, fees also vary according to the country. The list of factors that have an effect on how much it costs to comply includes the following:
- National recycling targets
- Geographic location
- Population density
- National waste legislation and enforcement
- Collection system used
Der Grüne Punkt (Germany)
Der Grüne Punkt (German for “The Green Dot”), founded in 1990 and based in Cologne, is a registered trademark of the company Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD) and a leading provider of EPR solutions.
It was the first nationwide system to both collect used packaging and recycle raw materials in order to maintain a closed-cycle economy. Der Grüne Punkt has a license calculator called VerpackGO. Those looking to license their packaging collection can use it to calculate how much they might pay to participate in their system.
When companies choose the “Packaging with our trademark” solution, Der Grüne Punkt will collect, dispose, and recycle their products at the end of said product’s life cycle. Also, you earn the right to affix the Green Dot symbol on your packaging.
When companies choose the “Packaging without our trademark” option, their packaging still participates in Der Grüne Punkt’s system. However, this solution doesn’t include the right to use the Green Dot symbol.
- Take-back systems and services
- Sales packaging recycling
- Electronics sorting and collection
The license fee costs 2,500 Euro per year, plus VAT if it’s applicable. Additionally, companies must pay a fee according to the amount of kg of products collected, and the product category.
For example, they charge 80 Euro for 100 kg of plastic collected. You can find a fee calculator on this page.
HQ Address: DSD – Duales System Holding GmbH & Co. KG, Edmund-Rumpler-Straße 7, 51149 Cologne
EcoEmbes was founded in 1996, just before the “Law of packaging and waste of packaging 11/97” – Spain’s packaging and packaging waste regulation – came into effect. A recent amendment of Law 11/97 requires that the Green Dot symbol should be prominently displayed on the packaging.
By signing an agreement withf EcoEmbes, you can affix the Green Dot to your packaging, which is mandatory in the country. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in offenders being fined either 901-45,000 Euro. In the case of hazardous waste, the fine may reach 300,000 Euro.
Companies may be affected by Law 11/97 if they:
a. Participate in trading their branded products to any Spanish customer
b. Manufacture or package products that have a high chance of being purchased by end consumers
c. Import any products that are packaged and meant to be bought by Spanish end customers in the country
d. Supply customers with the product already bagged, wrapped, and more
- Packaging collection, disposal, and recycling
- Provides a membership certificate
Here are the membership fees to join EcoEmbes:
a. 600 Euro – for companies with more than 6 million Euro in general annual turnover
b. 300 Euro – for companies that don’t exceed 6 million Euro in general annual turnover
Besides that, you also pay a fee for each kg of collected packaging.
HQ Address: Calle de Cardenal Marcelo Spínola 14, 2ª planta, 28016 – Madrid
Citeo, a nonprofit organization, was founded when Eco-Emballages and Ecofolio merged with a common goal to contribute to reducing the environmental impact caused by improper dealings with packaging and paper waste.
As the French market leader, Citeo aims to maintain that status as well as help to contribute to consumers’ understanding of the Extended Producer Responsibility. One of Citeo’s goals is to ensure that France meets and contributes to its target recycling rate as well as maintains affordable prices.
Even though Citeo is a PRO Europe member, according to France regulations you need to affix the Info-tri symbol to your packaging. The procedure is similar to the ones used to affix the Green Dot symbol, and Citeo offers the possibility to affix both symbols.
- Packaging collection and recycling
- Communicating with customers regarding their contributions and commitments to Citeo
- Interpretation of relevant packaging and recycling regulations
- Study entrepreneurial solutions
- Resources for packaging reduction and design
There are different fee tiers, which vary according to the Consumer Sales Unit (CSU):
a. 80 Euro flat rate (only available for companies that place less than 10,000 CSU per year in the French market)
b. 0.0738 Euro per packaging unit (for companies that place more than 10,000 CSU in the French market)
HQ Address: 50 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
FTI, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1994 when the Swedish government introduced the concept of EPR to the nation. In order to meet this new requirement, four materials companies – Svensk Plaståtervinning, Returkartong, Svensk Glasåtervinning and Svenska Metallkretsen – came together and created FTI.
While FTI collects packaging and packaging waste, the four abovementioned companies recycle them in an environmentally-friendly way.
FTI aims to get Sweden as a whole to be more recycling-friendly. To date, around 9 out of 10 Swedish households participate in recycling. 72% of all packaging waste is recycled, and 2.4 million recycling bins have been filled.
- Packaging recycling and collection
- Advice at no cost
- Transparent agreements
- Packaging traceability
Producers are required to pay SEK 1,500 every year, inclusive of the Green Dot license fee (SEK 500). Additionally, they must pay a fee per kg or collected packaging. You can learn more about specific fees in this document.
HQ Address: Svetsarvägen 10, 3rd floor, Solna, Sweden
Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (Netherlands)
Afvalfonds Verpakkingen (the Dutch Packaging Waste Fund) is a nonprofit organization whose main goal is to meet the Netherlands’ recycling targets at as low a cost to the Dutch as possible.
Afvalfonds Verpakkingen is the first Dutch company to:
a. Collect packaged products from the market
b. Dispose of the packaging that contained the products they commercially imported
c. Instruct other companies to provide their name, brand, and logo on their packaged products
By signing an agreement with Afvalfonds Verpakkingen, you earn the right to put the Green Dot symbol on your packaging.
a. Packaging collection and recycling
b. They comply with Packaging Management Decree of 2014, which means that they submit an annual report to the Ministry about consistently meeting national recycling targets
General fees in 2021 stand at 0.770 Euro per kg of material, excluding VAT. However, different fees might apply to specific materials.
HQ Address: Overgoo 13, 2266 JZ Leidschendam, Netherlands
FOST PLUS (Belgium)
Fost Plus is a household recycling management service in Belgium. They work with both the public and private sectors to maintain a circular economy when it comes to environmentally-friendly recycling habits in the country.
Importers and manufacturers affiliated with Fost Plus have to pay a licensing fee so that they can use the Green Dot symbol and participate in the scheme.
The rates differ slightly each year because they depend on how much money Fost Plus earns for collecting, sorting, and then recycling packaging and packaging waste.
- Packaging collection and recycling
- Packaging disposal
- Provide recycling guidelines
Companies that join the Fost Plus system contribute a minimum of 100 Euros per year. They pay 250 Euro if they put obstructive or household hazardous waste into the market.
Whether they pay 100 Euro or 250 Euro, companies receive a 50 Euro discount if the amount of paid via direct debit. Further, they must pay a small fee for each item that is collected and recycled.
HQ Address: Olympiadenlaan 2, Avenue des Olympiades 2, 1140 Evere
Repak, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1997 to meet national requirements regarding the collection and recycling of packaging placed in the Irish market.
Repak’s three biggest goals are as follows:
a. Help Ireland become Europe’s leading package recycler in a circular economy by 2025
b. Recycle half of the packaging placed in Ireland’s market by 2025
c. Meet the 80% threshold of all recycled packaging by 2030.
a. Packaging collection
b. Helps to meet and deliver the nation’s recycling targets for paper, plastic, glass, metal, and wood
The fees (inclusive of Green Dot licensing fees) for joining Repak depend on what kind of packaging and how much of it a business places on the Irish market. They also vary according to the business type.
Fees are as below:
a. Manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers: 2.36 Euro per tonne for plastic materials and 2.05 Euro per tonne for all other non-plastic materials year-round
b. Retailer: 2.36 Euro per tonne for plastic materials and 4.10 Euro per tonne for all other non-plastic materials year-round
e. Brandholders and Importer pay a fee that is based on the packaging materials, for example, 22.73 Euro per tonne for paper and 102.53 Euro per tonne for plastic
HQ Address: Red Cow Interchange Estate, 1 Ballymount Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, D22 HW67
Rekopol Organizacja Odzysku Opakowań S.A. is a non-profit organization in Warsaw, Poland. It can help your company to:
- Fulfill your EPR obligations
- Optimize costs
- Avoid financial penalties
- Packaging collection
- Packaging recycling
Companies have to pay an administrative fee of 80,000 PLN. Fees related to the recovery and recycling obligation start at 0,00045 PLN per Kg, according to the material
HQ Address: Mangalia 4, 02-758 Warszawa, Poland
Sociedade Ponto Verde (Portugal)
Sociedade Ponto Verde (SPV) is a non-profit organization that is responsible for managing Portugal’s packaging and packaging waste. It organizes and manages how the packaging waste products are collected, recovered, and recycled. Also, the organization aims to keep waste packaging that cannot be reused in a closed economy.
a. Funding waste collection from municipal councils
b. Maintaining drop-off containers for recyclables
c. Guaranteeing that separated waste is recycled, by selling second-hand packaging to recyclers
d. Overseeing how packaging is rerouted to either be recycled or used in energy production
Companies pay a minimum of 120 Euro every year, inclusive of VAT, to join the Sociedade Ponto Verde recycling scheme.
HQ Address: Sociedade Ponto Verde, S.A., Edificio Infante D. Henrique, Rua João, nº53 1ºDt., Cruz Quebrade, 1495-764 Dafundo
Altstoff Recycling Austria (Austria)
ARA Altstoff Recycling Austria is a non-profit service company that was founded in 1993 to collect, recover, and manage Austria’s waste packaging materials.
a. Provides every company that is affected by the Austrian Packaging Ordinance with packaging collection, recycling, and disposal services
b. Licensed partners have the right to use the Green Dot on their packaged products.
Altstoff Recycling Austria’s fees, excluding VAT per calendar year, are as follows:
- Minimum fee: 90 Euro
- Flat fee: 150 Euro
- Standard fee: 3,000 Euro
An additional fee is charged according to the amount of collected packaging, and the materials.
HQ Address: Mariahilfer Str. 123, 1060 Wien, Austria