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Request to the Minister of Environment and Energy regarding the returnable deposit scheme

28. april 2004

3/1120-0203-0012/VAR/FI The Council meeting 28 April 2004

In a request to the Minister of Environment and Energy, the Competition Council recommended that the regulation of the returnable deposit scheme and the recycle scheme for beer and soft drinks in non-returnable packaging was changed.

The Council argued that it was regrettable that the shares in Dansk Retursystem are owned by the major breweries. The company operates an infrastructure that is crucial for all suppliers of beer and soft drinks, and the ownership provides the shareholders with influence on the operation. As a consequence, the Council recommended to the Minister of Environment and Energy that the operation of the returnable deposit scheme and the recycle scheme was made independent of industry interests. This will become possible in 2008 when Dansk Retursystem's monopoly expires.

The collection of non-returnable packaging will again be put up for tender in spring 2004. The Council recommended that future tenders will prevent suppliers of beer and soft drinks from collecting from locations where they are not already permanent suppliers of beer or soft drinks.

In addition, the Competition Council recommended that initiatives were made to establish a common returnable deposit scheme and recycle scheme within the EU.

The Council further recommended reducing the administrative burden on importers etc. and introduce the possibility of exemption for new packaging to be used exclusively for restaurants and the like, creating the opportunity to test new types of beer.