Plastic & flexible packaging manufacturers meet French and European regulatory requirements on the environment.
Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, published in December 1994, sets the European framework for the design and end-of-life recovery of packaging. This directive has been amended three times, in 2002, 2005 and 2013. Directive 2013-2-EU particularly gives details of the products that must be considered packaging in the regulatory sense.
It was transposed in France by decree then in the Environmental Code (decree 2007-1467) in articles R543-42 to R543-74 of its regulatory part. Link to Environmental Code.
Directive 94/62/EC particularly requires packaging marketers to comply with the essential requirements defined in its appendix 2. The company that produces the packaging, or the principal if different, must take into account and document the actions they have taken to reduce the packaging’s weight/volume, reduce the heavy thresholds set by the directive and factor end-of-life recovery into the packaging’s design.
Standards EN 13427 to EN 13432 are used to implement this regulatory obligation and provide standard sheets for documenting the actions taken.
To make the transfer of information in the chain easier concerning compliance with essential requirements, the French National Packaging Council (CNE) has created an environmental compliance statement at the following link.
Regulations not specific to packaging
Elipso supports its members in implementing other environmental regulations relating to their activity, in particular:
- Recycled materials’ suitability for food use,
- Compliance with REACH regulations on substances,
- Law relating to ICPE,
- Law relating to waste, to foster the development of recycling, etc.
After fulfilling its function, spent packaging becomes waste and must be recovered through the most environmentally effective channel.
Plastic & flexible packaging manufacturers work on the reduction of their weight and volume of their products from the design stage onwards in order to decrease the amount of packaging waste. In addition, for logistics packaging, they design packaging that can be reused over multiple cycles before becoming waste.
These prevention efforts have a real impact on packaging waste quantities, as shown by the chart below on household packaging consumption for all materials:
Packaging recycling is the preferred treatment when technical and economic conditions allow. Recycling may be mechanical or organic (composting). Chemical and biological recycling are also technically possible but not widely developed on an industrial scale.
Packaging that has not been recycled must be channelled to high-yield energy recovery, whether directly as solid refuse fuel (SRF). In this case waste is incinerated to produce electricity and heat.
Finally, Elipso and its partners work to ensure no plastic packaging ends up in a landfill when recovery solutions exist.
Plastic & flexible packaging is currently recovered at different rates in Europe according to member states’ industrial and public policies. Recycling and energy recovery are complementary in all countries.
Recyclability - a networked activity
Plastic & flexible packaging manufacturers factor in end-of-life issues for their products from the design stage onwards. They make eco-design choices to enable spent packaging to enter the most efficient recovery channel.
Manufacturers particularly work on:
- Component separability,
- Component compatibility,
- The tolerance threshold for some substances and/or materials at recycling facilities.