Producer responsibility for packaging has been a voluntary system in Norway since 1994. Despite this, approximately 85% of all packaging has been counted for through the Groent Punkt Norge (Green Dot Norway) system.
Thus we used to view the voluntary system a success. With entrance of competition soon 3 years ago we – and the environmental authorities experienced competition to be on different terms with different agendas. It became possible to collect members (and fees) without necessarily taking control and responsibility for a functioning return scheme and traceable recycling. As solution the environmental agency suggested that the producer responsibility for packaging should be regulated by law, got approval by the environmental department and implemented a new chapter in the existing waste regulation. In full effect from January 1st every producer bringing more than 1000 kilo packaging (in sum) to the market is responsible for the recycling of this through an approved PRO.
This fall has been busy applying for approval for all our packaging schemes and February 1st it was announced that the schemes included in the Groent Punkt Norge membership is the sole ones approved (the five different material companies). Our competitor (established producer responsibility for EE and expanding to packaging and batteries) did not get approval for any of the packaging materials. We suppose they have filed a complaint, but without a national coverage and collection scheme all through the year we do not expect that the decision is changed. We are of course satisfied that our nationwide, proper and transparent system is acknowledged by the authorities, but we do not believe that the competition is gone.
In the new waste regulation responsibility for wooden packaging is included. These days we´re creating a new national recycling reporting scheme for repair and recycling of pallets and expect this to meet the targets and will apply for approval within few weeks. The memberships fees are expected to be NOK 0,04/kilo effective from June 1st.