Producer responsibility for packaging
In-depth support and information for producers of packaging
Here you can find in-depth support and information for you who are a producer of packaging and thus have producer responsibility for packaging.
This page aims to provide in-depth support to you as a producer of packaging and you as a producer representative. You will find, among other things, information on which goals you as a producer must contribute to achieve, which packaging are prohibited from being placed on the European market and how packaging should be designed and labelled. See "Good to know" to find the fundamental support for you as a packaging producer.
You as a producer of packaging and you as a producer representative for a packaging producer.
Good to know
The information for producers of packaging is divided into fundamental and in-depth support. Click on the link below to read more about what you primarily need to know:
Swedish Ordinances (in Swedish only)
Ordinance (2022:1274) on producer responsibility for packaging (riksdagen.se)
Ordinance (2006:1273) on producer responsibility for packaging (riksdagen.se)
Ordinance (2005:220) on recycling system for plastic bottles and metal cans (riksdagen.se)
Ordinance (2021:1002) on littering fees (svenskforfattningssamling.se)
Ordinance (2011:13) on environmental enforcement (riksdagen.se)
Ordinance (1998:940) on fees for permit matters and enforcement according to the Environmental Code (riksdagen.se)
Ordinance (2012:259) on environmental sanction fees (riksdagen.se)
Ordinance (2021:996) on single-use products (svenskforfattningssamling.se)
European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC of 20 December 1994 on packaging and packaging waste (eur-lex.europa.eu)
Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products in the environment (eur-lex.europa.eu)
Below you can read the information about the targets you as a producer are obliged to contribute to achieve. If it turns out that the targets may not be achieved in time, further measures may be needed.
According to 24-25 §§ of the Ordinance (2021: 996) on single-use products, the consumption of cups and food containers that are single-use plastic products shall be reduced by 50% by 2026. All actors who professionally supply or use cups and food containers that are single-use plastic products must actively work to achieve this target as of 1 January 2024.
Producers of single-use plastic packaging are obliged to contribute effectively to achieving the target of reducing litter. The target is to reduce single-use plastic packaging outdoors by 50% until 2030 compared with 2023. This target will be followed up by waste measurements carried out by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency from 2023 and every other year thereafter. Reduced litter includes:
- Flexible wrappers
- Food containers that are single-use plastic products
- Cups that are single-use plastic products
- Single-use plastic lids for cups or food containers
- Plastic bottles for beverages that hold less than 0.6 liters
- Plastic bottles for beverages that hold more than 0.6 liters
- Beverage containers other than plastic bottles that hold less than 0.6 liters
- Beverage containers other than plastic bottles that hold more than 0.6 liters
- Thin plastic carrier bags
Use of recycled plastic in plastic packaging
Producers of packaging consisting of more than 50% plastic must effectively contribute to the target of using recycled plastic in plastic packaging. By 2030, the packaging must on average consist of at least 30% recycled plastic.
Restrictions on placing on the market
Certain single-use plastic products, where adequate replacement alternatives exist, are completely prohibited within the EU and have been decided in Swedish legislation by ordinance (2021: 996) on single-use products.
Listed below are the single-use plastic products that fall under the definition of packaging and are prohibited:
- Beverage containers containing expanded polystyrene (e.g. styrofoam).
- Single-use cups and single-use food containers containing expanded polystyrene.
- Corks and lids containing expanded polystyrene which are used for
a) Single-use food containers
b) Beverage containers, or
c) Single-use cups.
- Single-use cups containing more than 15 % plastic (this prohibition applies in Sweden from 1 January 2024).
Design and labelling
Packaging may only be provided on the Swedish market if the packaging:
- has a volume and weight that is limited to the minimum required to maintain a good level of safety and hygiene,
- can be reused or recycled, and
- is produced so that the emissions of harmful substances are minimized and the overall impact on the environment is limited when the packaging waste is treated or residual products from the handling of the packaging waste are disposed of.
As a producer you are responsible for ensuring that the packaging you provide meets the three points. In order to reduce the amount of waste, you must also limit the use of unnecessary packaging in your business.
Design for reuse and recycling
You who manufacture packaging must design the packaging so that it can be reused or recycled.
A packaging is considered reusable if the physical properties and design enable the packaging to:
- under normal use can be reused several times
- can be processed in accordance with hygiene and safety requirements for workers, and
- can be recycled when no longer in use
A packaging is considered recyclable by:
- Material recycling (if it is possible to use a certain weight percentage of the packaging material for the production of salable products)
- Energy extraction (if the waste has a minimum calorific value to provide optimal energy extraction), or
- Composting (if the waste is biodegradable to the extent that it does not impede separate collection or the composting process/activity and can be broken down so that most of the finished compost is ultimately broken down into carbon dioxide, biomass and water)
Standards have been developed at EU level for how packaging should be designed to meet the requirements. What the standards are can be seen in Chapter 3. Section 5 Ordinance (2022:1274) on producer responsibility for packaging. However, it is optional to use the standards and the producer can instead choose to demonstrate that the requirements are met.
It is not mandatory to label packaging, but if you choose to label packaging with information about which packaging material has been used, this must be done in accordance with Commission Decision 97/129/EC of 28 January 1997. The Commission's decisions apply in all EU countries. However, some countries have developed national regulations on labelling. It is therefore a good idea for you as a producer to check whether there are national regulations on labelling in the countries where you are a producer.
In the EU, there are mandatory labelling requirements for cups that are single-use plastic products. These shall be labelled in accordance with Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/2151 of 17 December 2020. The purpose of the labelling requirement is to inform consumers about proper handling to reduce littering. The cups must be labelled when they are made available on the Swedish market by a producer. Therefore, remember to ask for labeled cups if you buy cups that are single-use plastic products. It is the producer who is responsible for the cups being labelled. The information message on the label shall be written in the official language or languages of the Member State(s) in which the cup is placed on the market. This means that single-use plastic cups placed on the market in Sweden must be labelled in Swedish.
EU regulation on labelling (EU 2020/2151) and how the label should look like and be placed
Design of beverage containers
From 3 July 2024, your beverage containers must have attached caps and lids throughout use in order for you to be able to make them available on the Swedish market. This requirement applies to beverage containers with caps and lids containing plastic. The requirement is considered to be met if the beverage container complies with the criteria in the harmonized standard SS-EN 17665 or if you can otherwise demonstrate that the beverage container is designed to meet the requirement.
The requirement does not apply to glass or metal beverage containers. Nor does it apply to beverage containers intended for special medical purposes.
Recycled material in plastic bottles
As of 1 January 2025, bottles up to three litres made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) must contain at least 25% recycled plastic. The calculation of the content of recycled plastic will be made as an average of the content of the bottles that a producer has provided on the Swedish market during a calendar year. In addition to the exemption for bottles with a volume more than three litres, the requirement also does not apply to bottles intended for special medical purposes.
From 2030, the requirement will be extended to all beverage bottles that are a single-use plastic product up to three liters. It must then contain at least 30% recycled plastic in order to be made available on the Swedish market. The recycled plastic content shall be calculated in the same way as was previously done for PET bottles and the same exemptions apply.
Information requirements regarding plastic bags
You who professionally provide plastic carrier bags to consumers must inform about:
- the environmental impact of plastic carrier bags
- the benefits of reducing the consumption of plastic carrier bags
- measures that can be taken by the consumer to reduce the consumption
The information provided should encourage responsible consumer behavior and should be easily accessible and recurring to the consumer.
The requirement for information has been decided in the ordinance (2021:996) on single-use products and does not cover plastic carrier bags provided remotely. This also does not apply to plastic carrier bags that are thinner than 15 micrometers and are needed for hygiene reasons or provided mainly as packaging for food sold in bulk.
As a producer you pay a fee to the collection system/producer responsibility organization (PRO) you are affiliated with. The fee takes into account the amount of packaging you have provided on the Swedish market. For more information on the packaging fee, see your collection system/PRO website.
An enforcement fee is sent to you who provide more than 1,000 kg of packaging on the Swedish market each year. The fee shall cover the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement and is SEK 1,250 per producer and calendar year.
However, a producer who is obliged to pay littering fees is obliged to pay the enforcement fee regardless of the amount of packaging provided on the market.
If the purchase number is required, you must enter this in the field "Reference number" in the e-service. You need to make changes before the fee notice is sent out.
The provisions on the enforcement fee are set out in Chapter 7 Section 8 Ordinance (1998:940) on fees for permit matters and enforcement according to the Environmental Code.
In accordance with the polluter pays principle, littering fees are introduced in order to reduce the negative impact that litter of single-use products in outdoor environments has on the environment. Littering fees consist of an annual fee and a product fee.
The Swedish government has decided on the fees in ordinance (2021:1002) on littering fees.
If a company has not complied with the legislation, it may lead to an environmental sanction fee. An environmental sanction fee is an administrative fee that is charged by the enforcement authority when an individual or a company has committed infringements against certain provisions according to the Environmental Code, or against provisions that have been decided on the basis of the Environmental Code.
In the event of infringements of certain provisions, you shall pay an environmental sanction fee. You can see which infringements that will result in an environmental sanction fee regarding producer responsibility for packaging and single-use products that are packaging in Chapter 11. Section 19-22 Ordinance (2012:259) on environmental sanction fees.
These are described in more detail below.
Sanctions regarding the requirement for reporting and registration
If a producer has reported late to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, an environmental sanction fee of SEK 10,000 may be charged. As of 1 January 2024, a delayed registration to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is also covered by the sanction fee.
Sanctions regarding the requirement to be affiliated to a producer responsibility organization
If a producer has not hired or provided a producer responsibility organization, an environmental sanction fee of SEK 30,000 may be charged. This applies from 1 January 2024.
Sanctions regarding the labeling requirement
If a producer provides a product on the Swedish market without the required label, an environmental sanction fee of SEK 10,000 may be charged.
Sanctions regarding the requirement for the design of beverage containers
If a producer provides a beverage container on the Swedish market without being designed with the cork or lid consisting of plastic attached to the container during the entire use, an environmental sanction fee of SEK 10,000 may be charged. This applies from 3 July 2024.
Sanctions regarding prohibited products
The one who releases a prohibited single-use plastic product on the Swedish market may be required to pay an environmental sanction fee. The size of the environmental sanction fee depends on how many products have been released on the Swedish market:
- SEK 5,000 if 100 or fewer products have been released.
- SEK 10,000 if more than 100 but a maximum of 1,000 products have been released.
- SEK 20,000 if more than 1,000 but a maximum of 20,000 products have been released.
- SEK 50,000 if more than 20,000 products has been released.
As of 1 January 2024, single-use cups containing more than 15% plastic are also covered by the environmental sanction fee.
The process of an environmental sanction fee
If your company have not complied with the legislation above, this may lead to you having to pay an environmental sanction fee. You will receive a letter from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency with a proposal for a decision on the environmental sanction fee. We send this letter to you as a notification that we are considering charging an environmental sanction fee.
You then have the opportunity to comment on the proposed decision within the time stated in the letter. This means that you can provide information on why you believe that you should not be charged an environmental sanction fee. A comment can be sent by letter or e-mail.
An environmental sanction fee shall be charged even if the infringement has not taken place intentionally or through negligence. There are certain exceptions, if it is considered unreasonable to charge the sanction fee. These exceptions are described in more detail in Chapter 30 Section 2 of the Environmental Code, see below:
- illness which has resulted in you not being able on your own or by instructing someone else to do what your duty was,
- that the infringement was due to a circumstance which could not or should not have been foreseen or which you could not influence,
- what you have done to prevent an infringement from occurring, or
- that the infringement has given rise to penalty in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 29.
The environmental sanction fee shall accrue to the Swedish state. Law (2006:1014).
If you choose not to comment, or if the information you provided does not change the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment, you will receive a decision on an environmental sanction fee.
The decision contains information on when and how to pay the environmental sanction fee. You pay the environmental sanction fee to Kammarkollegiet (Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency) and it accrue to the Swedish state. You will receive the decision together with a service receipt that the authorized person must date, sign and send back to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.
You can appeal the decision within three weeks from the day you received the decision.
Enforcement and control
As an operational enforcement authority, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for ensuring that each producer takes its producer responsibility. This includes reviewing data provided by producers and ensuring that they comply with the requirements of the producer responsibility regulations.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency can decide on injunctions, according to Chapter 26 of the Environmental Code, against anyone who does not fulfil their obligations according to producer responsibility. If the injunction is not complied with, it may be accompanied by a fine.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is also the market surveillance authority and exercises control according to Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 that products comply with the requirements of Directive 94/62/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 1994 on packaging and packaging waste. This is stated in Chapter 2 Section 24 Ordinance (2011:13) on environmental enforcement.
Municipalities' responsibility for enforcement
The municipalities have the local enforcement responsibility for Ordinance (2022:1274) on producer responsibility for packaging. This means that the municipalities are responsible for questions about how the management of waste covered by the regulation locally meets the requirements of the regulation.
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