The Directive on Packaging and Packaging Refuse (94/62/EF) is a harmonization of goals for recycling of packaging waste as well as certain requirements for packagings. In Article 9 and Annex II of the Directive the essential requirements for packaging being marketed in the EU are given. These requirements are made in order to reduce the quantity and environmental strain from packaging and packaging refuse. You can find the Directive on: http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex. The Packaging Directive from 1994 was revised in Directive 2004/12/EF of 11 February 2004.
The EU Packaging Directive gives very general requirements to the companies concerning minimization of packaging as well as recycling efforts. The Directive demands that the entire packaging - individual components as well as the entire packaging - only contains max. 100 ppm. heavy metals (article 11 in the Directive). The Directive has an exception for glass packaging regarding the heavy metal requirements. The EU Packaging Directive primarily requests the countries to provide systems for recycling and use of packaging refuse. Specific goals to be met by a certain deadline is described. These goals were intensified in the 2004 revision with new goals which have to be met before the end of 2008.
Annex II of the Directive states a number of general requirements for the packaging, which the companies have to meet. Annex II of the Directive is depicted in Encl. B of this guide.
The 2004 revision elaborates the Directive definition of packaging. It is advisable to be aware of a number of borderline cases as to what is defined as packaging, because these rules are not always conceived as being very logical. The rules apply for example to plastic bags, paper plates and plastic cups, while plastic cutlery and tea bags are not included. On the other hand the mascara brush is part of the packaging, because it is fixed to the lid of the packaging. Crystal glass (e.g. perfume bottles) is not included in the Directive.