Non-profit organization Green Dot Norway has been helping companies be more environmentally friendly for over 20 years. Read more about responsible recycling in Norway.
The level of product-packaging is increasing year on year. These days, when you buy something, you seem to get more packaging than actual product. Of course, it’s there for a reason, but how do you make sure this level of packaging doesn’t damage the environment?
Well, in Norway and many other European countries, it’s done through companies that produce packaged goods taking responsibility for their packaging when it’s empty – a concept called Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). EPR is promoted and securely managed through Grønt Punkt Norge (Green Point Norway).
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Recovering and recycling of used packaging
This non-profit organization was set up to finance the recovery and recycling of used packaging on behalf of the country’s industrial sector. Every company selling packaged goods on the Norwegian market can and (according to Grønt Punkt Norge, should become a member of the organization). It will then contribute an amount of money to the recycling scheme that corresponds with the quantity of packaging they put out in the market. Grønt Punkt Norge uses the total contribution to compensate collection, transport, sort and recycle packaging waste, and to create motivational campaigns.
“Our mission is in two parts,” explains Grønt Punkt Norge’s spokesperson Kari-Lill Ljøstad. “The first is securing a just system where all companies shoulder their share of the cost so we can fund all our packaging schemes – for cardboard, plastic, glass, metal and carton-packaging. The second is operating recycling schemes for plastic and carton-packaging.”
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Spread throughout Norway
The system is spread throughout Norway, and the organization works closely with waste companies and each municipality. The system is that the municipality will collect the consumer waste, Grønt Punkt Norge will compensate them for adding expenses, and then transport the packaging from the municipalities to sorting or recycling facilities. Plastic packaging waste from trade, industry and agriculture is collected by commercial waste-companies with compensation from Grønt Punkt Norge.
The organization was set up in 1997. With over two decades in action, what has it achieved? “Norway already had systems for glass, cardboard and deposit inn place, but for materials such as plastic and carton packaging, there was nothing”, says Ljøstad.
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Over 6,000 voluntary company members
“Now sorting has become second-nature for the major of consumers and industry. We have more than 6,000 voluntary company members taking environmental responsibility for their packaging, amounting to more than 80% of all packaging distributed on the Norwegian market”. In 2018, 94.2% of packaging waste in Norway was recovered and 52.9% recycled.
Responsible Recycling in Norway is a special promotion from Grønt Punkt Norge, published in Daily Scandinavian to honor the organization.