There is a global need to accelerate the green transition, and Danish companies are increasingly facing requirements to support the development of more sustainable solutions. One such requirement is the Extended Producer Responsibility, making companies accountable for their products – no longer from cradle to grave, but from cradle to cradle.
The Extended Producer Responsibility places the financial and practical responsibility on Danish companies to ensure that their waste is environmentally handled and that as much as possible is either reused or recycled.
”We see a clear trend towards increased producer responsibility for waste management.”
CEO of Retur.
It is a significant task that Retur will help companies manage.
Retur is standing on the foundation of the non-profit PRO Elretur. Elretur was established in 2005. The PRO has played a key role in handling the Extended Producer Responsibility on electronic waste, ensuring that as many materials and resources as possible are reused or recycled from electrical items and used batteries.
The expertise developed over almost 20 years of handling the Extended Producer Responsibility for electronic waste is now used to expand into more areas and industries.
By forming Retur as an umbrella organization and powerhouse for the Extended Producer Responsibility, companies, whether affected by one or more areas of the Extended Producer Responsibility, only need to go to one place to get help.
“We see a clear trend towards increased producer responsibility for waste management. Therefore, it is natural to handle the Extended Producer Responsibility within a common framework, such as Retur, rather than in isolated schemes for each area or industry. By consolidating our core competencies in Retur and specializing efforts in four PROs, we achieve economies of scale and cost-effectiveness, strengthen the development of innovative solutions, create opportunities for take-back programs, and provide high-level advisory services to our member companies,” says Morten Harboe-Jepsen, CEO of Retur.
Producer responsibility drives sustainable change
But why is it a good idea to make producers responsible for ensuring, for example, that their packaging waste is handled responsibly and, to the greatest extent possible, reused or recycled?
According to Retur, the Extended Producer Responsibility provides a natural incentive for developing or choosing more sustainable solutions in the producer and supplier chain. Benefitting the climate, society as a whole and the companies themselves.
“First and foremost, there is a fundamental willingness among Danish companies to contribute to solving the challenges we face regarding resource consumption and climate impact.
With the PROs as a junction, there is extensive knowledge sharing and exchange of experience across industries.
At the same time, the PROs provide the necessary volume, allowing Danish companies to come together to make a difference on a large scale,” says Morten Harboe-Jepsen, CEO of Retur.
41.000 companies will need to manage their packaging
While the Extended Producer Responsibility for used batteries and electronic waste has been in effect for several years, the Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging waste is currently being implemented.
According to the Ministry of the Environment, the producer responsibility for waste is expected to affect around 41,000 companies in Denmark, involving 1.1 million tons of packaging. The cost is estimated to be DKK 2.35 billion per year.
Even though the Extended Producer Responsibility will not come into effect before 2025, the affected companies essentially need to manage their use of packaging by 2024.
”Sooner rather than later.”
CEO of Retur.
“We began preparations in early 2022, and we are in an ongoing dialogue with authorities regarding the implementation of the Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging. If a company is subject to this responsibility, my unequivocal recommendation is to ensure that the task is addressed internally throughout the entire value chain and possibly subcontractors. Sooner rather than later,” says Morten Harboe-Jepsen, CEO of Retur.
After the Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging is active, a new significant producer responsibility awaits. The Extended Producer Responsibility for textiles.
Therefore, Retur has already established Tekstilretur, a non-profit PRO to handle the Extended Producer Responsibility for the textile and fashion industry in Denmark.
It is expected that more producer responsibilities will emerge in the future and Retur will be ready.
- Contact: Morten Harboe-Jepsen, Director at Retur, mobile: +45 40 31 81 87
- Visit: www.retur.dk
Retur is a non-profit umbrella organization for the producer responsibility organisations (PRO) Batteriretur, Elretur, Emballageretur, and Tekstilretur.
Retur stands on the foundation of the PRO Elretur. Elretur was established in 2005. It is Denmark’s biggest PRO. Retur is a one-stop-shop for Danish companies needing a responsible and experienced partner to handle their Extended Producer Responsibility or take-back program. Retur offers nearly 20 years of experience operating and developing PROs based on member democracy, well-tested IT systems and processes, professional knowledge, representation to politicians and authorities, access to an international network, and, most importantly, a community with other member companies.
As a member of a PRO in the Retur family, one benefits from the shared competence center serving all Retur PROs while having access to specialized personnel in the respective organisations.
About producer responsibility organisations (PRO)
A PRO is a private, commercial, or non-profit entity that, for a fee, offers companies covered by the Extended Producer Responsibility to perform the administrative and practical tasks associated with producer responsibility.
However, the overarching responsibility remains with the company responsible for the Extended Producer Responsibility. PROs operate in a competitive market. The PROs are organized differently and focus on different types of companies, products, and billing models. A PRO provides companies with equal access to membership and treats all members on equal terms.