Packaging and Packaging Waste
The EU first introduced measures on the management
of packaging waste in the early 1980s. Directive 85/339/EEC
covered the packaging of liquid beverage containers intended
for human consumption only but it was too vague to bring about
the effective harmonisation of national policies. As
a consequence, diverging national legislation appeared in
several Member States.
Only some EU Member States introduced measures on packaging
and packaging waste management with a view to reducing their
environmental impacts. Serious Internal Market problems
arose when cheap secondary materials from countries with recycling
schemes that provided funding for collection and recycling
appeared on the markets of other Member States where no such
schemes were in place. Collection and recycling activities
that relied on cost recovery through the sale of secondary
raw material were threatened by collapse.
For this reason, economic operators and Member States approached
the Commission to introduce comprehensive legislation on packaging.
In 1992, the Commission came forward with a Proposal for a
Council Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste.
Following a prolonged discussion in the European Parliament
and the Council of Ministers, Directive
94/62/EC was adopted.
This Directive aims to harmonise national measures in order
to prevent or reduce the impact of packaging and packaging
waste on the environment and to ensure the functioning of
the Internal Market. It contains provisions on the prevention
of packaging waste, on the re-use of packaging and on the
recovery and recycling of packaging waste.
In 2004, the Directive was reviewed to provide criteria clarifying the definition of the term 'packaging'and increase the targets for recovery and recycling of packaging waste. In 2005, the Directive was revised again to allow new Member States transitional periods for attaining the recovery and recycling targets.
For any further information or clarification, please contact: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/contact/contact_en.htm