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EU committee to vote on updating packaging and packaging waste definitions

A European Union committee is to vote on amending the definitions of packaging and packaging waste in the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD).

The Directive’s technical adaptation committee – also known as the article 21 committee, will vote on 23 March on amending Annex 1 of the PPWD to provide illustrative examples of packaging as defined in Article 3(1).

Such illustrative examples of packaging include: film overwrap around CD cases, sweet boxes and matchboxes. Illustrative examples of packaging intending to be filled at the point of sale include: paper or plastic carrier bags, disposable plates and cups and aluminium foil.

A Department for Business Innovation and Skills spokesman told MRW: “The changes add a few new items to the packaging and non-packaging illustrative examples of the current Annex I. We believe these changes are in line with the Environment Agency’s view of what is considered packaging for the purposes of producer responsibility in the UK.”

“Defra are reviewing this latest proposal as there are some slight changes to the terms used to describe the packaging types.”

BIS has now launched an informal consultation on the changes, asking for feedback on three aspects of the amended definitions:

  • Do you see conflicts between the proposal and the Environment Agencies Interpretation of Packaging?
  • Is the implementation date of 31 December 2011 acceptable?
  • Are there other points with the measure you have comments on?

If you would like to respond, please e-mail responses to

If the measure is agreed, the Government would have to transpose the Directive into UK law on 31 December 2011.

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