US firms oppose EU packaging waste Directive revision

Any revision of the European Directive on packaging and packaging waste would be premature, and the Directive ought to be left as it is for its second five-year phase, says the American Chamber of Commerce in Brussels (ACCB) in a recently published position paper.


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The 1994 Directive (94/62/EC) sets targets for recycling and recovery, in order to minimize any negative impact of the management of packaging and packaging waste on the environment. It stipulates that the targets should be reviewed every five years

However, according to the ACCB:

  • At the present time not all Member States have fully implemented Directive 94/62/EC into their national legislation;

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  • Data on the actual quantitative achievement of national targets are neither non-existent or hard to obtain;

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  • Moreover, targets differ from Member State to Member State, so that existing data are difficult to compare;

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  • Neither the economic consequences, nor the assumed environmental benefits of the first five years have been sufficiently researched.

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  • The costs of packaging waste recovery systems vary significantly from country to country and have a different scope.

The ACCB maintains that any revision leading to substantial changes would be premature, as it could not be based on accurate and comparable data, collected in a uniform way by all Member States. It also recommends that when revision does take place it should lead to verifiable environmental improvements, not entailing excessive costs and respecting the proportionality principle; and that the economic consequences of the revision should be fully understood by and be made transparent to the general public as well as non-European businesses.

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