Industry wants to advance packaging waste debate

Steel packaging industry organised half-day stakeholders conference on review of packaging waste directive

According to APEAL President Rolf Vogel, the current
directive is “incorrectly implemented”, resulting in a “patchwork
which is putting at stake the functioning of the internal market”.
APEAL recently introduced a formal complaint with the Legal Unit of
DG Environment against a recent Danish tax law on materials for
packaging (see
EURACTIV 5 March
2001
).

During the conference, APEAL presented three
studies about the use of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) by national
authorities. The three commissioned studies indicate that LCAs are
valid tools to assess the environmental impact of packaging, but
LCAs experts said that there are a number of conditions to be met
for a valid use of LCAs according to the preliminary results of the
study on Packaging Waste and LCAs undertaken by TAYLOR NELSON
SOFRES Dimarso. In another study, TNO, the Dutch Organisation for
Applied Scientific Research, showed that there is no justification
for discrimination between one-way packaging and refillable
packaging.

 

Christian Hey of the European Environmental Bureau (EBB)
criticised the absence of a real balanced multi-stakeholders debate
on the packaging waste review foreseen by the European Commission.
. He admitted that there might be scientific uncertainty over the
use of certain techniques, but proposed to apply the "precautionary
principle" in these cases.

Otto Linher of DG Environment challenged APEAL
to prove that one-way packaging is as environmentally friendly as
refillable packaging. He asked the industry not to "throw fog over
the debate" and announced that the Commission cost/benefit study
("RDC-PIRA study") is ready and will bring some "surprises" to the
debate.

 

Steel packaging industry body APEAL organised a half-day
stakeholders conference to advance the debate over the correct
implementation of the packaging and packaging waste directive on
Thursday 26 April. The conference examined whether and in which
conditions the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) tool can be used as a tool
for decision-making in EU and national packaging policy.

 

The Commission is currently preparing 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
environmental protection. Last year, the Commission postponed the
adoption of revision proposals because it wanted first to have the
results of a cost/benefit study realised by RDC-PIRA on the
implementation of the directive.

 

Mr. Linher confirmed that the Commission will adopt a draft
proposal on the packaging waste review before the summer break. It
will then seek a dialogue with stakeholders on the proposals and
finalise the reviewed draft directive by the end of the year. The
Commission will also have to address the implementation issue of
today's Packaging Directive. The European Parliament nominated Mrs
Corbey as rapporteur for this topic.

 

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