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A wave of new and amended recycling laws in the US, Canada and globally has many packaging managers re-thinking compliance and design issues in 2005. In the past, North American recycling policies have mainly affected some companies that use rigid plastic sales packaging in California. Even though about 29 countries now require companies to weigh their packaging and pay complex recycling fees, many US firms have relegated this task to foreign distributors – many of which have somehow escaped prosecution for non-compliance. Even though enforcement of European packaging takeback laws has been spotty – mainly coming from the UK, France and Czech Republic – amendments to the directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste will place more pressure on countries to enforce. Strengthened amendments for “Essential Requirements” must be done where the packaging is designed, not where it is distributed.
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