Twist in producer responsibility in Sweden

To date, those who want to have closer access to waste collection systems in Sweden have to pay for it, in most cases, through the waste tax. Responsibility on packaging and newspaper recycling lies on consumers and municipalities. The Swedish government has recently decided to introduce changes in regulation regarding producer responsibility for packaging and newspaper waste. The message is clear, anyone who would like to recycle these wastes should be able to do it easily, and packaging and newspaper producers will take full financial responsibility for providing easier and more accessible household waste collection systems for households as well as the collection service. In addition, they have the responsibility for developing environmentally friendly products.

More food waste collection

The government has also taken the chance to introduce modifications in the food waste collection regulation. By 2021, all municipalities in Sweden will provide separate food waste collection from households (already introduced in 223 municipalities). In addition, the government has set the target of reaching 50 % separate food waste collection from 2018 to 2020. Adopted measures are expected to have a positive impact on the use of food waste as a resource for biogas and biodiesel production.

Impact will be evaluated

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has been appointed by the Swedish government to assess the effect of the changes introduced in terms of environmental benefits, availability and product development. It will also be evaluated whether and how the costs of bringing the waste collection systems closer to the consumers has had an impact on the actors (e.g. municipalities, producers, consumers and society). The knowledge gained from this experience will be used by the government to initiate future actions.

You can read more about the producer responsibility here and comments from Avfall Sverige here. (only in Swedish)