Questions about deposits

On which bottles and cans will I get the deposit back? 

Deposits will be refunded on empty bottles and cans that have the Danish deposit mark if the reverse vending machine can read the barcode, deposit mark and the shape of the packaging. If you return bottles and cans manually, the barcode, deposit mark and the shape must be visible. 

Your deposits will also be refunded on bottles that the breweries reuse and refill. One example is the classic green beer bottle. This is known as refillable packaging and has no deposit mark. So check your receipt to see whether you paid a deposit when you purchased the bottle. 

What do I do with damaged bottles and cans? 

If a bottle or can is crushed or defaced, you can try to return it to a store that receives bottles and cans manually. This requires the store selling bottles or cans of the same material, regardless of the product brand. 

You will only be refunded the deposit if a store employee can see, or the reverse vending machine can read, the barcode, deposit mark and the shape of the packaging. 

You can always put damaged bottles and cans in the special deposit sacks from Dansk Retursystem and deliver them to a Pantstation (deposit return bank). Even though you will not be refunded the deposit, the bottles and cans will be recycled to benefit the environment. 

What do I do with large bottles and cans? 

Some bottles and cans up to 20 litres also have a deposit mark but cannot be put into a reverse vending machine. To get your deposit back, you must return these to the store from which you purchased them. 

What do I do with soft drink and beer crates? 

You will receive your deposit back on soft drink and beer crates to make it attractive for you to return them. The breweries will reuse them, so the crates must be returned to a store that sells bottles of exactly that brand. Stores may refuse crates from other suppliers. 

What do I do with cans purchased abroad? 

You will not get deposits refunded on cans purchased abroad. However, you can deliver them to a Pantstation (deposit return bank) and to some reverse vending machines. The stores themselves decide whether they will receive cans from abroad. You can always return them to a Pantstation. The aluminum will be used to manufacture new cans, which is good for the environment. 

Must the screw top be left on the bottle? 

You get your deposit back regardless of whether the top is on the bottle or not. However, it’s a good idea to leave the top with the bottle so it can be recycled along with the bottle. 

Why does a store not accept my deposit refund receipt? 

You are entitled to get the money for your deposit receipt as long as the text is readable. A deposit receipt is valid for up to three years. This right is covered by the Statutory Limitation Act and the Marketing Practices Act and is a matter between the customer and the store. This is why the deposit receipt must be paid out in the same store to which the bottles and cans were returned. 

Why can’t I get a refund for bottles and cans with a deposit mark? 

Possible reasons are that the scanner in the reverse vending machine cannot read the barcode, deposit mark or shape of the packaging. Ask a store employee whether the store will take back your bottles and cans manually and refund your deposit. 

Stores without reverse vending machines are solely required to take back deposit-marked bottles and cans of the same material that they sell, regardless of the product brand. So if they sell cans, they must take back all cans. If they sell plastic bottles, they must take all plastic bottles. The same applies to glass bottles. 

Stores are only required to take back the special refillable bottles without a deposit mark if they sell this type of packaging. 

If your deposit is not refunded, the reason may be that the Ministry of the Environment and Food occasionally phases out bottles from the deposit and return system or that deposits are no longer refunded for specific products. Further, importers or producers may not have registered the bottle or can with Dansk Retursystem. In this case, the reverse vending machine will not recognize the bottle or can and the store is not required to refund any deposit. 

What happens if the reverse vending machine does not work? 

Stores must continue to refund the deposits manually if a reverse vending machine is out of service. Contact a store employee. 

Why does the bottle or can disappear without me receiving the deposit back? 

Some reverse vending machines automatically reject bottles and cans if the machine does not accept them. If this does not happen, you are entitled to get your bottle or can back if this is physically possible. Contact a store employee. 

Other reverse vending machines are set up to keep the bottles and cans even if they are not accepted, for example, because the bottle or can is crushed, damaged, does not have the Danish deposit mark or has the wrong barcode. Contact a store employee or e-mail Dansk Retursystem at

Sometimes importers and producers do not register their bottles and cans with Dansk Retursystem. Then the reverse vending machine does not recognize the bottles and cans. Then the stores are not required to refund deposits. 

What does phasing out a bottle or can mean? 

Sometimes the Ministry of the Environment and Food authorizes stopping the use of or the refunding of deposits for specific bottles and cans. This is always notified well ahead of time, with signs in the stores. Once the period of notice ends, stores are no longer required to refund any deposits. You can still return these bottles and cans for recycling.