The Danish Packaging tax
The production of waste as a by-product from consumable goods is growing with an increased consumption in both developed and undeveloped countries. In Denmark, 447 kg waste is produced annually per person (2011), of this 61% is recycled while 29% is incinerated and 6% is landfilled. Of household waste, which constitute ¼th of all waste, 22% is recycled. In Europe, the EU Waste Framework Directive and specifically the EU Directive 94/62 (European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste), exist as legal frameworks for the member countries to decrease the amount of packaging waste and increase the amount of recycled packaging waste.
Denmark introduced a packaging tax already in 1978 in order to reduce waste and increase the reuse and recycle rate of packaging. Denmark chose to internalize packaging waste management costs rather than setting up an industry-run funding system (such as the Green Dot system). The Danish packaging tax is divided into a volume-based tax and a weight-based tax, where the focus of this fact sheet is on the volume-based tax.
Fact sheet on volume-based tax:
Fact sheet on weight-based tax: