The Green Dot

The Green Dot is a license symbol used on packaging in some European markets which shows that a fee has been paid to fund the recycling of that packaging when it becomes waste. The logo is a trademark protected worldwide.


The Green Dot is a symbol that is used on packaging in some European markets to signify that a producer has made a financial contribution to a packaging recovery system, financing the sorting, recycling and recovery of their packaging when it eventually becomes waste.

In the United Kingdom, the Green Dot symbol does not carry any such significance. Businesses often use a standard packaging design for products that are sold on the European and UK markets, and this can mean that the Green Dot® symbol is present on packaging when products are sold in the UK.

The Green Dot® is a registered trademark in the UK, which means that a UK licence is required in order to be permitted to use the symbol on packaging products in the UK. Any usage of the symbol on products sold in the UK without a licence is an infringement on the owner of a trademark, which can result in legal action being taken.

Comply Direct can offer a sub-licence for use of The Green Dot symbol in the UK for Comply Direct packaging members only.

Packaging compliance is a complicated process but Comply Direct make it as uncomplicated as they can which is invaluable to us!


Symbol design and confusion

Where full-colour printing of product packaging is available, the official form of the Green Dot symbol should be printed in a light and a dark shade of green as per the agreed specifications. For cost reasons or to avoid a visual clash with other symbols, many manufacturers choose a black-and-white or other colour combination on their packages.

Producers and consumers alike should be aware that the Green Dot symbol merely indicates that a company has joined the Green Dot scheme where applicable in Europe and does not necessarily indicate that the packaging on the product is fully recyclable.

It is mandatory to display the Green Dot® Symbol in the following countries:

  • Cyprus
  • Spain

The Green Dot® Symbol is not mandatory but is a registered trademark and a license is required to display the symbol on packaging in the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • Turkey
  • UK

The Green Dot® is not recognised as a trademark in the following countries:

  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Ukraine

For any countries that do not offer the Green Dot, PRO Europe (the umbrella organisation which administers the use of the Green Dot) offers a royalty-free licence agreement which you can download from their website.

Companies printing the Green Dot on packaging sold in USA, Mexico and Canada must obtain the licence from Green Dot North America and pay the relevant charge/fee, the registration can be done on their website.

How can we help?

Comply Direct is a licence holder for the usage of the Green Dot® symbol and, as part of our compliance service, we are happy to arrange exemptions for our members who use the Green Dot® symbol, by providing sub-licences to our members at no additional cost.

In order to provide you with authorisation to use the symbol in the UK by issuing a Green Dot® sub-licence, the only information that we require is:

  • The type of packaging displaying the Green Dot® symbol
  • The level of packaging displaying the Green Dot® symbol - i.e. consumer packaging, transit packaging
  • The brand names displaying the Green Dot® symbol

If you are a packaging member with Comply Direct and your company places products on the UK market in packaging that is marked with the Green Dot® symbol, please contact the packaging compliance team for advice and assistance in obtaining a sub-licence, and we will be happy to provide you with a sub-licence for no additional cost.

For information regarding reproduction of the Green Dot symbol on your packaging please contact us.

Our terms and conditions for the use of the Green Dot can be viewed here