Packaging and Packaging Waste

PHASE 1: Does the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive Apply To Your Product

As a manufacturer, you need to secure copies of the relevant Directives and judge whether they apply to your product. The European Commission (EC) does not publish a list of products to which their laws apply; they require the manufacturer to determine the applicability of directives to any given product. There are several major purposes of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive; the first is the prevention or minimization of the environmental impact of packaging materials, the second is to define the “essential requirements governing the composition and the reusable and recoverable (including recycling) nature of packaging”, and finally the harmonization of packaging regulations throughout EU Member States.

This Directive covers all packaging and packaging waste placed on the market in the European Community from the following sources: industrial, commercial, office, shop, service, household, or any other level of use regardless of the material used. The Directive defines packaging as “all products made of any materials of any nature to be used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery, and presentation of goods, from raw materials to processed goods, from the producer to the user or the consumer. ‘Non-returnable’ items used for the same purposes shall also be considered packaging.”

To view the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and see the latest list of standards for that directive, please go to the website www.newapproach.org and click on "directives and standards."

This guide to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive is still being developed. For additional information on this directive, please contact either of the U.S. Department of Commerce's EU Specialists: Bob Straetz at 202-482-4496 or Sylvia Mohr at 011 32 508 2675.

PHASE 2: Compliance with the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive

The Directive 94/62/EC, Packaging and Packaging Waste, allows for self-certification and does not require certification through a notified body (a notified body is a testing facility that has been certified to test for essential requirements specified in the various Directives). Article 7 lists the essential requirements for compliance to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. Annex II of the Directive specifies the essential requirements for packaging. The essential requirements for the nature of packaging include: packaging composition, reusability, recoverability, and the ability to recycle.

To view the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and see the latest list of standards for that directive, please go to the website www.newapproach.org and click on "directives and standards."

This guide to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive is still being developed. For additional information on this directive, please contact either of the U.S. Department of Commerce's EU Specialists: Bob Straetz at 202-482-4496 or Sylvia Mohr at 011 32 2 508 2675. A general overview of EU packaging and packaging waste legislation is available by clicking on this link: http://www.buyusainfo.net/docs/x_4171929.pdf