Battle joined over packaging Directive

More than a year and a half after it began to prepare proposals to control packaging waste, the European Commission finally announced what the draft legislation will contain on 15 July. The proposal sets ambitious recovery and recycling targets for all packaging materials, but has been given a guarded welcome by the packaging industry on the grounds that it should help to eliminate barriers to trade in packaging. But environmentalists have criticised the Commission for dropping its plan for a ceiling on packaging consumption.

The draft Directive has two principal objectives. These are to reduce the environmental impacts of packaging waste, and to improve the functioning of the Community market.

At present, households and businesses in the Community produce some 50 million tonnes of packaging waste every year. Only 9 million tonnes are recycled.

Within the past year, Germany, the Netherlands and France have introduced demanding laws and voluntary agreement

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