Denmark is planning differentiated taxation of packaging materials, based on the environmental load of the products’ life-cycle
Denmark is planning differentiated taxation of packaging materials, based on the environmental load of the products' life-cycle. After an extensive environmental impact assessment of packaging products, the Danish environmental protection agency (EPA) concluded that cardboard and glass present the least burdens on the environment, followed by plastic material - polyethylene, polypropylene, PET and polystyrene. Next in line are expanded polystyrene, PVC and steel, while aluminium has the largest environmental impact - measured by kilo of packaging.
The packaging materials were examined with regard to energy consumption, CO2 emission, environmental effects, consumption of fossil resources, and waste, based on the most important impacts during the life cycle of the packaging materials.
A similar life-cycle study for drinks packaging was published by the German environmental agency this month. The study concluded that refillable PET bottles are the best environmental option, followed by cartons and refillable glass. Metal cans and one-way glass bottles came out as the least environmentally-friendly packaging materials for drinks.
The results of these studies could have an impact on the EU's review of the packaging waste directive.