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Rapid increase in development of packaging regulations

Rapid increase in development of packaging regulations

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by Harry Wild, August 2019
Harry Wild is a Consultant in thinkstep's Recycling Compliance practice and graduated from the University of Nottingham with an MSc (Hons) in Chemistry.
There has been a sharp rise across the world in the development of new packaging-related laws and reforms of existing packaging recovery and take-back systems.

Partly due to the success of the BBC’s David Attenborough Blue Planet television series, consumers have become much more aware of the waste created by packaging and in particular, single-use plastics. 

The increased awareness of consumers and resultant public pressure has led to many governments acting to bring in new packaging legislation, to limit the amount of waste that is created and increase recycling rates.

Single-Use Plastics

The EU parliament has approved a Single-Use Plastics Directive and many other countries across the globe are adopting similar legislation, including Argentina, Chile, Mexico and several states in the USA. These regulations affect retailers and manufacturers and aim to increase the recycled content of packaging and reduce the amount of single-use plastic entering our oceans. 

Circular Economy

The EU Circular Economy Package (CEP) will bring further changes to packaging-related laws in the EU. On 18 April last year, the European Parliament formally adopted Circular Economy legislation through amendments to the current Waste Directives. These measures are hoped to further improve waste management laws across the EU. 

At present, no action is required by producers. However, Member States are required to fully transpose the amendments during 2020 (within 24 months of publication). 

Germany is the latest country to begin transposing the CEP and is currently undergoing a consultation with stakeholders on a proposed draft amendment to their current laws. 

Additional changes to existing packaging laws

Further to bans on single-use plastics, many EU member states are making changes to existing packaging-related laws.

Slovenia are in the process of bringing in a new packaging regulation that will remove the small producer exemption and also make foreign distance-sellers responsible for any packaging they place on the market. 

It is possible that many other EU countries will follow this trend, making more and more companies across the EU obligated as packaging producers. 

Croatia are also making improvements to their packaging regime and the UK recently held a consultation for a fundamental reform of the existing packaging laws.

Stay on top of all these changes 

The many packaging laws and regulations that exist can be overwhelming for some companies. EC4P can help you to keep up to date with the rapidly-changing WEEE, Batteries and Packaging laws across the EU and the rest of the world. 

As part of our compliance services, we can assess whether you are required to take action under newly implemented laws and identify the best solutions to ensure compliance. For more information about our services please contact us