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Directive’s final step

Brussels-based environmental organisation Europen has welcomed publication in the Official Journal of the European Union of six CEN Packaging Standards, dubbing them “the final step in the more than 10-year process of implementing the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive”.

Europen say the standards’ publication “eliminates lingering legal uncertainty for packaging producers and packaged goods industries” over whether or not packaging entering the EU market meets the Essential Requirements laid out in the Directive, which it has had to do since January 1998.

EU institutions have agreed CEN (the European Committee for Standardisation) could be given responsibility for drawing up standards to help with technical harmonisation issues, such as compliance with the Essential Requirements.

Europen ceo Julian Carroll says: “Now harmonised standards have been recognised by the EU, it will be presumed that packaging that can be shown to comply with them also meets the Essential Requirements. This applies in all 25 EU Member States.”

The new standards cover requirements specific to packaging’s manufacturing, composition and reuse, and to recovery methods including recycling, energy recovery and composting.