EP committee in favour of stricter packaging rules

On 9 July, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted on the revision of the packaging waste directive. It calls on stricter overall recycling targets and on requirements for eco-friendly design.

The rapporteur Dorette Corbey (NL) and the political parties
had negotiated compromises, but the report was still only adopted
by 3 votes (25 to 22, with 5 abstentions). The report’s main
recommendations are:

  • increase of overall recycling minimum target to 65% (Commission
    proposed 55%) and delete the maximum target;
  • introduce a requirement for eco-friendly packaging by demanding
    that the producers should take “all necessary measures to minimise
    its environmental impact” whilst not compromising the products
    “essential functions” (this replaces Corbey’s original requirement
    for life-cycle analysis);
  • a broader revision of the directive to introduce elements of
    sustainable development and integrated product policy (IPP) to be
    presented by 1 January 2005;
  • the date for meeting the targets should be 31 December 2008
    (the same date as was proposed by the Spanish Presidency’s at the
    Environment Council in June).


For an overview of the institutions different demands, see


The Commission's proposal of December 2001, is part of a
review of Council directive 94/62/EC 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
environmental protection. The Commission's proposal is limited to
revision of the targets.


The report will go to plenary session in September. The
Environment Council will most likely adopt its conclusions in
October. The issue will then go to a second reading in the


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