The aim of achieving a single market for packaged products in the European Union and for the free movement of goods in a global marketplace is frequently threatened by packaging regulations which restrict or prevent market access.
The issue for industry and trade is to ensure that any measures adopted will properly meet both the environmental and economic needs of all stakeholders. Despite the adoption of the EU Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (94/62/EC) in 1994, many issues involving interpretation, implementation, monitoring results and compliance continuously arise to the present day.
In December 2006, the European Commission published a report on the impact and implementation of the Directive which concludes that the Directive has largely achieved its environmental objective, but that “there is evidence (particularly in the beverage sector) that the Directive has not yet fully achieved its internal market objective”.
In addition to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, other EU policies affect packaging. EU plans for legislation are often complemented and complicated by national regulations, giving rise to risks of conflict. We identify many of the issues arising from packaging legislation and provide information and opinions about them.
- ‘Thematic Strategies’ on waste prevention and recycling / sustainable use of natural resources
- Sustainable consumption and production
- Economic instruments in packaging and packaging waste policy
REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals)—the EU’s new chemicals policy
- Beverage container deposits
- Quotas for refillable packaging
- Product specific targets in packaging legislation
- Packaging marking, material identification and conformity assessment procedures
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) use and misuse in public policy decisions on packaging and packaging waste management
- CEN packaging and environment standards
- Waste management hierarchy