Return deposit system for plastic bottles and metal cans
Plastic bottles and metal cans containing beer, wine, water, soda, energy drinks and similar beverages are required to be included in an approved recycling system before you market them in Sweden. The recycling system has to be specified on the label in addition to the amount paid for returning the container.
New regulations from 1 January 2023
The current rules apply to plastic bottles and metal jars with beverages that are ready to drink. But from the turn of the year, the rules also apply to other drinks. Beverages that mainly consist of dairy products are still exempt from the requirement until 31 December 2028. You will find more information about the new rules further down on this page.
What products are included in the regulation?
These rules apply to plastic bottles and metal cans with beverages ready for consumption. Products consisting mainly of dairy products or juice from vegetables, fruits or berries are exempt from the rules.
Note that the exemption for juices, both ready to drink and concentrate, will not apply from the 1 January 2023 and such beverages must be included in the recycling system. That is also the case for squash, cordial and drinking soups.
Beverages in glass bottles are not included in this system; however, other rules apply to them. For more information, please contact Swedish Glass Recycling.
Approved recycling systems
Returpack is the name of the Swedish return deposit system. You need to contact Returpack in order to include your product to the return deposit system.
Products not included in a recycling system
You may not sell or give away products that are not included in an approved recycling system in Sweden, unless they have an exemption.
If you sell products that are not included in an approved recycling system, you can be charged a fee of up to SEK 50 000.
Exemptions from recycling systems
Some products can be exempt from being included in a recycling system. Such exemptions are limited in time, usually one year, and they cannot be prolonged. There must be specific reasons regarding the shape or the material of the container. Returpack must verify this, so first you will need to contact Returpack.
In addition to this verification, your application should also include the name and address for the applying organization, the name of the product and a unique EAN-code to be used when marketed in Sweden, approximate number of products to be sold and during which period. An image of the product is also required so the field inspectors can recognize the product in stores.
Send your application to us via email.
The exemption only applies for a limited amount of time. A long-term solution to sell your product in Sweden can be for example to switch container to one that can be included in a recycling system or switch to a material other than plastic or metal.
Revision date: 2022-06-01