In 1994 the EU adopted the Directive on packaging and packaging waste. This Directive was later implemented in legislation in all EU countries. Even though a number of years have passed since the Directive was adopted, many companies are still not meeting the obligations set out in the Packaging Directive. This is among other things due to the fact that instructions are only described in broad terms in Annex II, and, moreover, to the fact that European standards giving the companies better guidelines should have been worked out. These standards were finally approved by the EU in February 2005. Even these standards are very general, thus still leaving the companies with no precise guidance on how to observe to the rules.
Whoever introduces a packaging or a packaged product on an EU market, must observe the following:
- Minimization of the packaging system.
- Max. 100 ppm. heavy metal.
- Minimize the use of environmentally hazardous components
- Meet special demands for packaging recycling.
- Make sure that the packaging after use can be recycled in at least one of the below mentioned ways:
- Recycling to other materials
- Combustion with energy recovery
- Compostible or biodegradable
The company responsible for this has to be able to prove in writing that these demands are met when requested to by an EU authority. Unfortunately the Directive contains no accordance procedures leaving the individual countries room for individual interpretation. Export companies have to be aware of this fact.
The purpose of this project is to give the companies practical methods enabling them to meet especially the packaging minimization demands (Annex II in the Packaging Directive).