The Green Dot is a symbol used on packaging in many European countries.

It looks like a recycling logo but is not.

It is a trademark.

It is not always green. Sometimes it is black and white!

In the UK but has no specific meaning for UK consumers.

In Europe howeve it indicates that a packaging producer has paid the have a proportion of their packaging collected and recycled.

They have to. The European “Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive – 94/62/EC”  This applies to all companies whose products use packaging. It states that manufacturers have to collect any recyclable packaging they use.

Obviously most do not do this. Instead they pay a company to do it for them. They can then display the green dot on their packaging.

Frequently asked questions about the Green Dot® program.

Which companies need to comply with the Packaging Waste Directive?
All companies need to comply with the Directive if their products include nearly any type of packaging.

Can I come up with my own packaging recovery plan and avoid joining Green Dot®?
Yes, you can present your own plan for packaging recovery. This may make sense if you are very low volume producer with very few customers.

Am I required to join the Green Dot® scheme?
No. You are not required to join a program such as Green Dot®. However, the Packaging Directive requires manufacturers to recover their own packaging. Most companies find this impractical and participating in the Green Dot® Program is one way to meet these requirements.

You can find this very useful Q&A post here

To conclude

  • A licence fee is paid by manufactorers towards the cost of collection and recycling.
  • The amount paid depends on the material used in packaging (e.g. paper, plastic, metal, wood, cardboard).
  • Different countries pay diferent amounts for joining the the scheme.
  • Fees take into account the cost of collection, sorting and recycling methods.
  • A reduction in packaging means a reduction in the liscence fee.
  • Once the fee is paid the company can then display the green dot on their packaging and consumers will know that the manufacturer contributes to the cost of recovery and recycling.

We do not use this system in the UK. The Green Dot is not used as a compliance mark in the UK, but it is still a trademark. Anyone who produces packaging with a Green Dot, which is then sold in the UK, must pay a UK licence fee through Valpak Ltd.

Find  more on this and other international packaging signs here.

Better still buy unpackaged and take your own reusable bags

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