Chapter 6. Take-back systems for beverage packaging

Regulations relating to the recycling of waste (Waste Regulations). This is an unofficial translation of the Norwegian regulations.

Adopted under section 4 of the Act of 11 June 1976 No. 79 relating to the control of products and consumer services (the Product Control Act).

Section 6-1. Scope

The provisions of this chapter apply to take-back systems for beverage packaging. The provisions of this chapter apply only to take-back systems for packaging that are used in the distribution of beverages all the way to the consumer.

Section 6-2. Purpose

The purpose of the provisions of this chapter is to promote effective take-back systems for beverage packaging with a high recovery rate, so that these systems help to prevent litter and reduce waste from such packaging.

Section 6-3. Definitions

In this chapter, take-back system means a system under which the consumer can return empty packaging free of charge for recovery.

In this chapter, beverages means beverages in liquid form only, including liquid concentrates intended for mixing.

In this chapter, recovery means reuse, recycling and energy recovery.

In this chapter, deposit and return scheme means a scheme under which the consumer and the point of sale pay a certain amount (deposit) for the packaging of an article on condition that the amount is refunded to the purchaser when the empty packaging is returned.

In this chapter, primary packaging means a packaging unit (bottle, box or similar) into which the beverage is filled.

Section 6-4. Establishment and approval of take-back systems

The individual manufacturer or importer of beverages may set up and manage or join a take-back system for primary packaging. The Norwegian Environment Agency will decide whether a take-back system is to be approved.

A requirement for approval is that the take-back system is expected to achieve a minimum recovery rate of 25 %, and that the packaging is recovered in an environmentally sound way. Take-back systems based on energy recovery will only be approved if reuse or recycling is not technically, environmentally or financially feasible.

Conditions may be set for approval.

Section 6-5. Determination of the return rate

The Norwegian Environment Agency will determine the return rate that a take-back system can be expected to achieve.

The return rate is set in advance for a maximum of one year at a time. Decision on return rates are used as the basis for a reduction of the tax levied in accordance with the regulations issued by the Ministry of Finance relating to special taxes, see Chapter 3-5 on taxes on beverage packaging (environmental tax and basic tax).

Section 6-6. Labelling

Primary packaging that is included in a deposit and return scheme shall carry a deposit symbol showing the amount of the deposit. The minimum size of the deposit symbol shall be 9 mm x 9mm.

The deposit mark shall be printed on the primary packaging itself or on the label. For imported products and products belonging to small product series, an adhesive label may be used.

The minimum size requirement for the deposit symbol, see the first paragraph, applies from 1 September 2018.

Section 6-7. Return of packaging that is included in a deposit and return scheme to points of sale

Points of sale of beverages in packaging that is included in a deposit and return scheme have a duty to accept reasonable quantities of empty packaging for products that they themselves retail. When packaging is returned to a point of sale, the consumer may claim a cash refund of the deposit.

Section 6-8. Deposit rates

For primary packaging included in a deposit and return system, the point of sale and the consumer shall pay a deposit according to the following rates: 

a) for primary packaging with a nominal volume of up to and including 50 cl: NOK 2.00 per unit

b) for primary packaging with a nominal volume of more than 50 cl: NOK 3.00 per unit.

The following deposit rates may nevertheless be used up to 1 September 2018:

a) for primary packaging with a nominal volume of up to and including 50 cl:

i. for trade between a manufacturer/importer and a reseller: NOK 1.20,

ii. for trade between a reseller and a consumer: NOK 1.00.

b) for primary packaging with a nominal volume of more than 50 cl:

i. for trade between a manufacturer/importer and a reseller: NOK 3.00,

ii. for trade between a reseller and a consumer: NOK 2.50.

If the purchase price of primary packaging exceeds the deposit rates set out in the first paragraph, or if the return rate for a type of primary packaging is particularly low, the company operating a take-back system may request the Norwegian Environment Agency to determine a higher deposit rate. The Norwegian Environment Agency may set conditions for determining special deposit rates.

Section 6-9. Prohibition on particular forms of packaging

The Norwegian Environment Agency may prohibit the use of primary packaging that hinders the appropriate implementation of established deposit and return schemes.