Waste - National Responses (Sweden)

SOER 2010 Common environmental theme (Deprecated) expired
This page was archived on 21 Mar 2015 with reason: A new version has been published
Response. Links to further national information.
Waste Waste
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Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Organisation name
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
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Organisation website
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Last updated
23 Sep 2011
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CC By 2.5
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Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Published: 23 Oct 2010 Modified: 28 Jun 2016 Feed synced: 23 Sep 2011 original
Key message

A number of instruments have been introduced in order to increase recycling of waste, among them taxes, subsidies, producer responsibility schemes.

e) Which responses (R) have been put in place or are planned at national level for the theme in question?


What is done?

A number of instruments have been introduced in order to increase recycling of waste. Among them are:

  • Environmental Quality Objectives adopted by the Swedish Parliament, with interim targets for waste (generation) and resource management (e.g. extraction of natural gravel).
  • Deposit-refund systems for beverage containers.
  • Producer responsibility for batteries, packaging, paper/newsprint, tyres, cars/ELV, WEEE, light bulbs and certain light fittings.
  • Voluntary commitments from producers' organisations to collect and recycle office paper and farm plastics.
  • Differentiated fees for municipal waste collection (to stimulate source separation).
  • Compulsory sorting of waste: combustible waste should be kept and transported separately; packaging waste and WEEE should be sorted out/handled separately by the consumers and delivered to the collection systems provided by the producers. Municipalities can stipulate further sorting.
  • Landfill tax.
  • Tax on household waste to incineration.
  • Landfill bans for combustible and organic waste.
  • Subsidies for biogas plants and GHG reduction.
  • Every municipality must develop municipal/regional waste management plans, including all waste streams and measures for waste prevention.

Waste prevention programme

Waste prevention efforts have recently been initiated on a national level. During 2010, the Swedish EPA will make a pre-study to identify

  • the waste stream with the largest environmental impact, regarding climate and content of hazardous substances
  • the most important actors for communication
  • suitable national targets for waste prevention.

The results of that study will be a foundation for the coming waste prevention programme. The programme will be prepared in cooperation with stakeholders and with knowledge from the Swedish waste research programme ‘Towards a sustainable waste management'. 

National waste management plan

The Swedish EPA is working on a new national waste management plan, which is expected to be finalised in 2011. The new plan will, to a larger extent than the former one, focus on waste from economic activities, such as construction and demolition waste. Furthermore, priority will be given to measures for prevention of waste.

A crucial part of this work will be to involve relevant stakeholders and authorities in order to find the best acceptable measures.


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