Producer responsibility – from resources in waste to circular economy

Last reviewed: ‎25‎ ‎May‎ ‎2023

The producer responsibility aims to encourage producers to develop products that are resource-efficient, easy to recycle and free from environmentally hazardous substances. In this way, Sweden and other EU countries will have both smaller amounts of waste and cleaner waste.

Producer responsibility has existed since the 1990s and the purpose of the responsibility is that those who contribute to an environmental problem should also contribute to the solutions of the problem. In this case, the problem is the lack of circularity: that goods and packaging are not reused or recycled. Producers are given an extra responsibility where they are obligated to design and produce more environmentally friendly packaging and products that last longer or that are easy to recycle. The legislation exists throughout EU because we have a major common problem. 

New IBAN and bank giro numbers on notices regarding producer responsibility

Please note that from 2023 the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency have new IBAN and bankgiro numbers on notices relating to producer responsibility.

  • 5981-6918
    Notices regarding regulatory fees for electrical equipment, batteries, packaging, wet wipes, fishing gear, balloons, tobacco filters, PRO and the product fee for littering.
  • 5981-6843
    Notices regarding cadmium charges, return system and the annual fee for littering.

Notices will be sent in the autumn.

Products covered by producer responsibility

  • Packaging
  • Fishing gear 
  • Certain tobacco products and filters
  • Wet wipes
  • Electrical equipment
  • Batteries
  • Balloons
  • Tires
  • Cars
  • Medicines

In addition, there are voluntary commitments, similar to producer responsibility, for office paper and agricultural plastics.

Find out about the business’s producer responsibility

The word "producer responsibility" is not always so clear and many operators need to find out whether they have producer responsibility or not. For example, a producer of packaging does not need to produce the containers and cartons in which a product is packed itself, but still have producer responsibility for the packaging. 

Who is a producer differs between the different producer responsibilities. For example, it may be the one who sells the product on the Swedish market for the first time, the one who has manufactured the product or the one who imports the product into Sweden – what in the legal text is called "bringing in or placing on the market". 

What should the producer do?

What is included in producer responsibility differs between the different producer responsibilities. It is often included that the producer must pay for the waste collection itself to increase the incentive to develop more resource-efficient products to pay for waste management.

The responsibility itself also differs between producer responsibilities. The responsibility may involve, among other things, that the producer is responsible for:

  • design and label their products
  • collect the product when it becomes waste
  • take care of or recycle the product once it has become waste
  • register and report information to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. 

Extended producer responsibility

In line with the polluter pays principle, there is also extended producer responsibility for several products. The extended producer responsibility means that the producer must pay for awareness-raising measures, collection in public systems and to clean up their products.

    E-service producer responsibility

    Companies and organisations affected by producer responsibility can submit (or update) their information to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency via the e-service for producer responsibility.