The European Commission has proposed new and stricter targets for recycling and recovering packaging waste on 7 December 2001. The proposal is part of the planned revision of the 1994 packaging and packaging waste directive. However, several controversial issues such as prevention, re-use and producer responsibility have been postponed until a later date.
Main elements of the Commission proposal (to be implemented
no later than 30 June 2006):
recovery target of 60-75 percent (as opposed to
50-65 percent under the current requirements)
recycling target of 55-70 percent (as opposed to
25-45 percent under the current requirements)
Material-specific recycling targets (as opposed to
the 15 percent rate of the previous directive): glass: 60 percent;
paper and board: 55 percent; metal packaging: 50 percent; and
mechanical and chemical recycling of plastics: 20 percent.
The proposal also clarifies the definition of
packaging in an annex and makes references to “mechanical
recycling”, “chemical recycling” and “feedstock recycling”.
The Commission's proposal is part of a review of Council
directive 94/62/EC of 15 December 1994 on packaging and packaging
waste. This directive aims to harmonise national measures on the
use of packaging waste to ensure the smooth functioning of the
internal market whilst at the same time providing a high level of
The proposed directive will have to be approved by the
European Parliament and the Council.