Parliament favours stronger packaging waste review

The European Parliament adopted an own-initiative report on the implementation of the 1994 packaging and packaging waste directive on 14 November. MEPs called for the introduction of producer responsibility for waste packaging and the use of a policy mix of increasing recycling targets, setting targets for prevention and internalising environmental costs in the price of packaging.

The report by rapporteur Dorette Corbey (PES, Holland) looked
at the implementation of the 1994 packaging waste directive in the
Member States and concluded that, although most countries have met
the recycling targets, most of them were too late in doing this.

MEPs followed most of the recommendations of the
Corbey report:

  • introduction of producer responsibility for preventing the
    production of packaging waste;
  • introduction of a binding general target on the reduction of
    the amount of packaging waste going to landfills;
  • increasing recycling targets for the period 2001-2005;
  • introduction of targets for prevention and re-use per
  • internalisation of environmental costs of packaging in its
  • the Commission is asked to ensure that representatives from
    consumer and environmental organisations are better involved in
    standard setting via CEN, the European Committtee for


European Environmental Bureau (EEB) welcomed the
Parliament's resolution and said "it will have to be carefully
considered by the Commission, as it contains important
recommendations aimed at influencing the forthcoming revision of
the packaging and packaging waste directive".


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.


The Commission is expected to produce its proposals on a
limited review of the packaging directive by the beginning of 2002.
A draft proposal currently circulating in the Commission's services
focusses mainly on updating the recycling targets.


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