1. What legislation regulates management of packaging and packaging waste in Portugal?
The legislation on the management of packaging and packaging waste in Portugal is Decree Law 152-D/2017.
2. Is joining Sociedade Ponto Verde (SPV) compulsory?
Current legislation sets out the compulsory nature of a management system for packaging waste from products first placed on the national market by the company in question, whether they are imported or manufactured by or on the behalf of the company.
In order to comply with this obligation concerning non-reusable packaging, companies may choose one of two options:
• Joining SPV, which is licensed by the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of the Economy to manage non-reusable packaging waste at national level and can accept companies' responsibilities in this field;
• Creating their own management system, which entails returning empty packaging to the company that placed the products on the market and its proper disposal The system must be approved by the Ministry of the Environment/Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente (Portuguese Environment Agency, APA).
3. Who should join SPV?
Should join Sociedade Ponto Verde companies responsible for the first placing in the portuguese market of packaged products intended for the final consumer, i.e. companies that:
• Directly import packaged products and/or raw materials
• Sell packaged, own-brand products on the national market intended for the final consumer
• Manufacture packaged own-brand products and place them on the national market intended for the final consumer
• Manufacture or import service packaging(checkout bags, wrapping paper, takeaway packaging, etc)
To find out if your company needs to join SPV, please complete the questionnaire available here
4. Are my packaging suppliers responsible for managing my packaging?
No. The responsibility for packaging management lies with the company that uses it to package the products that it imports or places on the national market and not the manufacturer or seller of empty packaging.
Your packaging supplier is responsible for the management of the packaging material that it uses to wrap the packaging that it sells you.
your packaging supplier sells you steel cans.
These cans are packed in cardboard boxes, which are wrapped in plastic film.
Your supplier is responsible for managing:
- The cardboard boxes
- The plastic film
Your company is responsible for managing:
- The steel cans of product that you place on the market.
Except the service package which the responsability lies on the manufacturer or importer
5. All my products are imported. Isn't my foreign supplier responsible for managing the packaging?
No. The law holds the importers of packaged products responsible for managing their packaging.
6. The packaging of my products is already marked with the Green Dot symbol. Do I still have to join Sociedade Ponto Verde?
If your company is responsible for these products' first placing on the national market, then the responsibility for managing the packaging of these products is yours and so you must join Sociedade Ponto Verde.
Sometimes, mainly in the case of imported products, suppliers may have already marked their packaging with the Green Dot symbol. This happens when these suppliers have other customers who are already licensees and ask them to append the symbol. However, your supplier is not declaring the packaging, as it is not his responsibility.
In this situation, there is also the additional issue of your company using the Green Dot symbol illegally, as it can only be used by Sociedade Ponto Verde licensees.
Illegal use of the Green Dot symbol may be sanctioned pursuant to Decree-Law 152-D/2017 (see questions 24 and 25 for more about these penalties).
SPV informs that it will celebrate license agreements for the use of Green Dot® brand under conditions that do not compromise the distinctive character of the brand, with packers, importers and suppliers of service packaging that do not transfer their responsibility for the management of packaging and packaging waste to SPV and manifest a legitimate interest in its use.
7. I export all my production. Do I have to join Sociedade Ponto Verde?
Portuguese legislation on the management of packaging and its waste applies only to the packaging of products placed on the national market.
However, if not all your production is exported, even if the quantity placed on the national market is very small, you must guarantee compliance with the law for this small part by joining Sociedade Ponto Verde. Sociedade Ponto Verde offers simple ways of joining in these situations..
8. I place products on the national market that my customers are going to export. Do I have to join Sociedade Ponto Verde for the packaging of these products?
If your company has an export certificate for the products in question, there is no need to join Sociedade Ponto Verde for their packaging.
If you also place products on the national market, when you join Sociedade Ponto Verde, do not include the packaging of the products that your customers are going to export in your annual statements..
9. All the packaging that I use is reusable. Do I have to join SPV?
No. SPV only manages non-reusable packaging, i.e. packaging that does not return to the packer's premises to be used again for the same purpose.
If your company uses reusable and non-reusable packaging you only need to join for the non-reusable packaging.
10. I only use service packaging. Do I have to join Sociedade Ponto Verde?
Service packaging is packaging that is filled or made up by companies, normally wholesalers and retailers and companies in the services or food and beverage sectors, and intended solely for packing products that they sell at their outlets. Examples: checkout bags, wrapping paper, paper bags for bread, greaseproof paper for ham, etc
However, there is an exception regarding the service packaging that only can be used by the "X" brand, i.e. "own brand". In this case, the responsability of those packaging is atributed to the "X" brand.
11. Does the packaging of gifts and samples also have to be included in the Sociedade Ponto Verde management system?
Yes. All packaging placed on the market as part of companies' business activity must be included in the system, regardless of whether or not the products it contains are for sale. In other words, all packaging of samples and gifts must be included in the packaging statements sent to Sociedade Ponto Verde as part of the transfer of responsibility.
12. What is the Annual Statement?
The Annual Statement is a document that companies belonging to the Green Dot system fill in every year to report total weights of non-reusable packaging of products placed on the Portuguese market.
13. What is the difference between primary, secondary non multipack and tertiary packaging?
Point of sale packaging or primary packaging: any packaging designed so as to constitute a sales unit for the end user or final consumer at the point of purchase.
- Aerosol - Jam jar
- Yoghurt tub - Cereal box
- Shampoo bottle - Water bottle
- Olive oil bottle - Wine bottle
- Beer can - Cola can
- Food tin - Paint can
- Varnish can - Milk carton
Secondary Non Multipack Packaging: any packaging designed so as to constitute a grouping of a certain number of sales units at the point of purchase, whether they are sold as such to the end user or final consumer or serve only for restocking shelves at the point of sale, and that can be removed from the product without affecting its characteristics;
- Retractile plastic (around milk cartons)
- Corrugated cardboard box (containing food tins)
- Cardboard tray with retractile plastic (containing jars of jam)
Transport packaging or tertiary packaging: any packaging designed so as to facilitate the handling and transport of a number of sales units or grouped packaging in order to prevent damage during handling and transport. Transport packaging does not include road, rail, ship or air containers.
- Non-reusable pallets
• Stretch or stretchable film to secure goods on pallets
14. What are secondary multipacks?
Secondary Multipacks are packaging (usually paper and/or plastic) that group several individual sales units (with its own barcode) and were designed for sale to the end user.
- Plastic grouping cartons of milk (6, 12, 24, etc)
- Plastic grouping bottles of water or soft drink (4, 6, 8, etc)
- Cardboard grouping bottles of beer (4, 10, 24, etc)
15. What is service packaging?
Service packaging is packaging that is filled or made up by companies, normally wholesalers and retailers and companies in the services or food and beverage sectors, and intended solely for packing products that they sell at their outlets.
- Supermarket bags
- Ready-made food packaging
- Plastic or paper bags for bread
- Packaging for flowers sold by florists
- Plastic covering used by laundries to protect clean clothes
16. What are fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and industrial products (IP)?
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) - packed products for the domestic market or HORECA channel*/Catering.
- Nail varnish bottle
- Perfume bottle
- Bath gel bottle
Products for the industrial market (IP) - products that will be transformed or incorporated into another good or service and cannot be sold separately to the public and are not for the Horeca channel.
- Rolls of fabric
- Plastic bags of yeast (for bakeries)
- Buckets of paint (for furniture industries)
* Horeca channel: hotels, restaurants, cafés, canteens, pastry shops and bakeries with or without their own production
17. Is Sociedade Ponto Verde a private body? Is it for profit?
Sociedade Ponto Verde was set up in 1997 so that companies responsible for placing packaged products on the national market can fulfil their legal obligations at the lowest cost when it comes to managing packaging.
It is a private not-for-profit body licensed by the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning and the Ministry of the Economy to manage the Integrated Packaging Waste Management System.
Sociedade Ponto Verde's shareholders are companies grouped in three holding companies representing the following sectors:
- EMBOPAR: packers, fillers and importers;
- DISPAR: trade and distribution companies;
- INTERFILEIRAS: producers of packaging and packaging materials.
18. How does Sociedade Ponto Verde manage my packaging?
When packers and fillers or importers of packaged products join SPV, they transfer to it the responsibility for recycling and recovering the packaging waste that they place on the market and declare to SPV every year. A Green Dot Fee (GDF) on this packaging is paid to SPV and the financial contribution is proportional to the weights declared.
SPV does not collect packaging waste individually. As required by law, SPV manages waste nationwide through bodies hired for the purpose. These bodies collect, transport, store, sort (separate) and prepare packaging waste so that it can be sent for recycling in accordance with established technical specifications.
Without our realising it, every day we get items produced from recycled materials gained from the waste that we separate and place in recycling drop-off containers, drop-off centres or the door-to-door service. Old is transformed into new, thereby saving energy and raw materials, preserving the environment, creating jobs and improving people's quality of life.
19. How much will I have to pay for transferring my responsibilities to SPV?
The amount that you pay depends on the quantity and type of material used in the packaging that you place on the market every year. It is based on the polluter pays principle set out in the EU directive, which is one of the basic principles of environmental policy.
To find out more about how to calculate the amount payable and the unit prices per packaging material, click here.
20. What does the Green Dot symbol mean on packaging?
The Green Dot symbol on packaging means that the financial contribution for this packaging has been paid to SPV, which is responsible for recovering the packaging after use.
21. Should I put the Green Dot symbol on my packaging?
Since the beginning of 2019, is no longer an obligation to mark the Green Dot Symbol in the primary packaging.
The companies adhering to the Sociedade Ponto Verde are authorized to place the Green Dot Symbol in their packaging.
Sociedade Ponto Verde informs that it will celebrate license agreements for the use of Green Dot® brand, free of charge, under conditions that do not compromise the distinctive character of the brand, with packers, importers and suppliers of service packaging that do not transfer their responsibility for the management of packaging and packaging waste to SPV and manifest a legitimate interest in its use.
For more information please contact us: email@example.com
22. Who is responsible for overseeing compliance with this legislation?
Oversight of compliance with this legislation is the responsibility of Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica (ASAE), Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente (APA), Inspecção Geral do Ambiente e Ordenamento do Território (IGAOT), regional environmental departments and other competent authorities.
23. What penalties may my company have to pay for not fulfilling these legal obligations?
Pursuant to Decree-Law 366-A/97, the penalties you may have to pay are as follows:
- Suspension of business
- Suspension of authorisations, licenses and permits
- Fines from 50 to 3,740 euros for natural persons
- Fines from 500 to 44,890 euros for legal persons
24. How can I change my details at Sociedade Ponto Verde?
Directly in your client area.
Sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting this changing.