Packaging and packaging waste directive

The European Packaging and packaging waste directive 94/62/EC (1994) deals with the problems of packaging waste and the currently permitted heavy metal content in packaging.

The Directive obligates member states to meet targets for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste. The Directive covers all packaging placed on the Community market. Targets are set as a percentage of packaging flowing into the waste stream.

The Directive:

  • sets targets for recovery and plastic recycling
  • requires the encouragement of the use of recycled packaging materials in the manufacturing of packaging and other products
  • requires packaging to comply with 'essential requirements' which include the minimisation of packaging volume and weight, and the design of packaging to permit its reuse or recovery
  • requires the implementation of measures to prevent packaging waste in addition to preventative measures under the 'essential requirements', which may include measures to encourage the re-use of packaging

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