Packaging and packaging waste
- by no later than 30 June 2001, between 50 and 65% by weight of packaging waste to be recovered or incinerated at waste incineration plants with energy recovery;
- by no later than 31 December 2008, at least 60% by weight of packaging waste to be recovered or incinerated at waste incineration plants with energy recovery;
- by no later than 30 June 2001, between 25 and 45% by weight of the totality of packaging materials contained in packaging waste to be recycled (with a minimum of 15% by weight for each packaging material);
- by no later than 31 December 2008, between 55 and 80% by weight of packaging waste to be recycled;
- no later than 31 December 2008 the following targets for materials contained in packaging waste must be attained:
- 60% for glass, paper and board;
- 50% for metals;
- 22.5% for plastics and;
- 15% for wood.
- to limit the weight and volume of packaging to a minimum in order meet the required level of safety, hygiene and acceptability for consumers;
- to reduce the content of hazardous substances and materials in the packaging material and its components;
- to design reusable or recoverable packaging.
|Act||Date of entry into force||Final date for implementation in the Member States||Official Journal|
OJ L 365, 31.12.1994
|Amending Act(s)||Date of entry into force||Implementation in the Member States||Official Journal|
OJ L 47, 18.2.2004
OJ L 70, 16.3.2005
Regulation (EC) No219/2009
OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009
Commission Decision 2006/340/EC[Official Journal L 125, 12.5.2006];
The Directive allowed stable recycling and recovery rates to be reached for packaging waste, which had positive effects on the environment. During the reference period 2004-2006, the amount of packaging waste generated increased (part of this increase was due to the enlargement of the EU in 2004), whilst recycling and recovery rates remained stable. In 2006, eight Member States did not meet one or more of the imposed recycling/recovery objectives. Separate collection systems for packaging waste were introduced throughout the EU, with different degrees of effectiveness however, and all Member States concentrated on raising consumer awareness of packaging and packaging waste management in an ecologically sound manner. The practical application of essential requirements was however called into question by some stakeholders, which moved the Commission to undertake a further examination of the situation.
With regard to the effects of the Directive on the internal market, legal discussions have taken place in recent years between the Commission and Member States concerning compatibility with the rules of the internal market of national measures aimed at reducing the environmental impact of beverage packaging and the volume of waste it generates. Although the overall objective is often justified from an ecological point of view, some national measures go beyond what is necessary and may hinder the use and marketing of beverages and their packaging in a disproportionate way. In order to avoid other problems in the internal market and to reduce the number of legal discussions with Member States, the Commission adopted a Communication entitled “Beverage packaging, deposit systems and free movement of goods”, which summarises the solutions that have been identified and developed to date.
The Commission notes considerable improvements in terms of recycling, recovery and incineration of packaging and packaging waste between 1997 and 2002. It notes that in 2002, the 75 targets applicable to EU-15 were achieved. Recovery and recycling have had positive environmental effects, including a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and resource savings if compared with the mere disposal of packaging in landfills to be incinerated without energy recovery. The Commission also notes that recycling packaging does not cost much more than disposal, while packaging prevention is both complex and difficult to implement effectively. Furthermore, certain national measures and an incorrect application of the Directive have led to partitioning of the internal market, in particular in the beverage sector, and the Commission hopes to evaluate in more detail the ways in which such market restrictions may be avoided. The Commission also hopes to remain flexible with respect to incentives aimed at encouraging prevention and reuse of packaging.