The Green Dot Symbol

We are the UK Green Dot Licensing Company

European legislation places the responsibility for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste onto companies that handle packaging. Many European countries have adopted the Green Dot system - whereby obligated companies use the Green Dot symbol to prove they have complied with packaging waste legislation.

Green Dot Symbol 

The Green Dot symbol does not mean that the packaging it is applied to is recyclable. It does not have any environmental or recycling meaning; therefore, should not be used to bolster an environmental claim. When looking for a suitable logo to promote environmental credentials or packaging recyclability there are a variety which can be considered. Please see our Green Dot Code of Practice for more information.

Why use the Green Dot?

In Spain and Cyprus the Green Dot is a mandatory trademark for all packaging, which means the first business to place packaging onto the market must pay a licence fee and display the symbol on their packaging. Historically the Green Dot was mandatory in several other countries where it is now voluntary, although still widely adopted.

Important:
Valpak is the UK administrator of the Green Dot licence on behalf of PRO Europe, the umbrella organisation for packaging schemes throughout Europe, which manages the Green Dot trademark worldwide. The licence we issue does not cover use of the Green Dot in other countries. If you display the Green Dot on packaging exported to other countries, you may need to pay a licence fee in each country. Our International Compliance Team can help.

Who needs a UK licence?

Packaging placed onto the UK market, which displays the Green Dot symbol, must be licensed.

It is not mandatory to display the Green Dot on packaging in the UK because we currently use the PRN system to help recover and recycle packaging waste. However, if a business exports to other European countries it may be required to display the Green Dot on its packaging to demonstrate compliance.

Many organisations choose to purchase a UK Green Dot licence so they are not burdened with the time and costs of printing two sets of packaging i.e. one without the Green Dot for the UK and another with the Green Dot for goods exported.

Are there other packing/recycling labels I should use in the UK?

We are a member of OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label), which provides a consistent recycling message for UK consumers and we encourage producers to consider using this. Unless there are environmental reasons for using common packaging across different markets where the Green Dot might be required, we encourage producers not to use the Green Dot in the UK to avoid any confusion to consumers.

How much is a UK licence?

If your company is registered in the UK and is a full member of our Packaging, WEEE or Batteries compliance schemes it can use the Green Dot symbol in the UK for free (this does not include small WEEE/ battery customers). All we ask is you let us know you are using the Green Dot symbol, agree to the Terms and Conditions and provide us with basic information on the types of packaging the Green Dot is displayed on.

Members of our “Small WEEE” and “Small Batteries” services and non-Valpak companies must purchase a licence separately. The current licence fee is £295 (excl. VAT) per company, which will cover all brands owned by the company. We currently collect licence fees from around 200 individual companies.

Sub-licence holders

The following Packaging Compliance Schemes are also sub-licence holders for the Green Dot in the UK. If you are a member of one of these schemes we recommend that you check whether your membership with that scheme covers the cost of your Green Dot licence:

  • Comply Direct
  • Comply with Clarity
  • Complypak
  • Ecosurety
  • ERP
  • Nipak
  • Scotpak
  • Sustain Drinks Packaging Partnership
  • Synergy Compliance
  • Veolia
  • Wastepack

The money we collect  for licences from both individual companies and schemes goes towards the fees we pay to PRO Europe and towards the cost of administering the licences.

Licences for other countries

Our International Compliance Team helps businesses comply with producer responsibility legislation in other countries and can also obtain Green Dot licences on their behalf.

If you require a Green Dot licence for packaging that you export it is likely you also need to comply with each country’s respective producer responsibility legislation.

Find out more by visiting our International Compliance web page or by calling 03450 682 572

Apply for a licence

To apply for a licence or to find out more about the Green Dot in the UK and other countries contact us today:

03450 682 572
env.compliance@valpak.co.uk