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EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive to Include More Examples Under Proposal

The European Commission (EC) proposed amending the European Union (EU) Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (94/62/EC) to provide additional explanation on what is considered packaging under the law. Article 3(1) of the Directive includes a generic definition of packaging and criteria for interpretation of what is packaging, while Annex I provides examples of items considered packaging under the definition. Council Directive (COM (2012) 0141), dated March 28, 2012, would amend Annex I of Directive 94/62/EC to provide additional examples. Based on discussions with Member States, the EC determined that the additional examples are needed to "clarify cases where the borderline between what is packaging and what is not, remains unclear." Annex I provides examples of three criteria: (1) what is considered packaging and non-packaging; (2) what is considered packaging, if designed and intended to be filled at the point of sale; and (3) what is considered packaging versus parts of packaging.


The measure is intended "to facilitate the implementation and enforcement of the packaging legislative framework and create a level playing field for economic operators across the EU's internal market," according to the EC. The proposed amendment requires Member States to enact laws, regulations, and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive by September 30, 2013, and to communicate to the EC those provisions implemented in their national laws relating to the Directive. If adopted, the Directive will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.