EU Urges Tighter Packaging Controls, Recycling Goals

Strasbourg, France — The European Union (EU) parliament has voted 487 to 6 in favor of plans to introduce tighter rules on packaging material and to force manufacturers to make 65 percent of their product packaging recyclable by 2008.

The EU assembly has called for targets of recovery and recycling to be set for all main materials used in packaging, including glass, paper, cardboard, metal and plastics. It also has called on EU nations to reduce by 10 percent from 1998 levels the amount of packaging waste generated by Jan. 1, 2004.

Manufacturers also will be responsible for decreasing the overall use of packaging and introducing slimmed-down designs. While most companies already have implemented existing recycling rules originally implemented in 1994, many have complained that they need a longer time period to transition their products.