Commission consults on EU packaging law

Economic, environmental, stakeholders respond to latest directive revision plan

Economic and other stakeholders gave polarised reactions to the European Commission's latest proposals for revising the 1994 EU packaging directive at a consultation meeting held in Brussels yesterday. European packaging industry representatives expressed strong reservations over the plan to revise recycling targets in the directive. The European Recovery and Recycling Association (ERRA) put forward as an alternative its recently launched proposal to leave recovery options open while setting a fixed limit on landfilling of packaging waste (ENDS Daily 11 November). European environmental groups, meanwhile, called for recycling obligations to be redrafted to explicitly require increased packaging prevention and reuse. Both options were rejected by Commission officials as being outside the scope of the proposed limited revision of existing recycling targets. Speaking on behalf of the packaging chain, Julian Carroll of EU industry association Europen called for recovery targets to be maintained in a revised directive, rather than deleted as the Commission is proposing. No revision should be contemplated now due to a lack of comparable data on costs and benefits of the directive, he said. The packaging chain would make a "substantial and direct" contribution to obtaining such information, he continued. Meanwhile, a coalition of associations representing firms in the main packaging materials industries expressed opposition to the Commission's latest idea of setting differentiated recycling targets for different materials.

Follow Up:
European Commission, tel: +32 2 299 1111; ERRA, tel: +32 2 772 5252; Europen, tel: +32 2 736 3600.

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