Packaging waste: conciliation deal upsets environmentalists

The Conciliation Committee (between Parliament and Council) has
reached a compromise on the review of the Packaging Waste Directive
– permitting Member States to count incineration for recovery

After two readings, Parliament and Council had different opinions
on some of the elements in the review of the 1994 Packaging and
Packaging Waste Directive. Particularly controversial issues (see
EURACTIV 4 November 2003)

  • whether or not the incineration of packaging waste could be
    counted in Member States' recovery targets;
  • the deadline dates for Portugal, Greece and Ireland to meet the
    proposed targets.

The limited review of the Packaging Waste
Directive foresees that Member States will have to reach a minimum
recycling rate of 55 per cent and a minimum recovery rate of 60 per
cent by December 2008.

The delegations of Parliament and Council agreed
that, contrary to recent judgements by the European Court of
Justice, incineration of municipal waste can be counted in the
recovery targets of the packaging directive. The issue will,
however, be reviewed in the framework of the EU's upcoming Thematic
Strategy on Waste Prevention and Recycling. In a first reaction,
the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) said that the EU had given
in to the incineration lobby. The packaging industry and operators
of incineration installations welcomed the compromise.

On the issue of deadlines, the compromise states
that Greece, Ireland and Portugal have to achieve the targets by
2011. The deadline for the new Member States will be set in a new
proposal to be issued by the Commission.


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