Legal basis

Europe's waste problems are still growing. After all, each inhabitant of the EU Member States produces between 250 and 620 kilograms of household waste per year. About 25 to 30 percent of this is packaging waste.

  • The European Union reacted to the significant drop in landfill capacities and declining resources with the Packaging Directive which came into force on December 31, 1994: By the year 2001, all Member States had to introduce systems for the collection and recovery of packaging and to recover between 50 percent as a minimum and 65 percent as a maximum of the packaging waste (with the exception of Portugal, Greece and Ireland for which the date of compliance with the recovery targets has been postponed until 2005).
  • It is up to the individual countries to decide how they wish to achieve the recovery and recycling targets set forth in the EU Packaging Directive 94/62/EC. Some countries created the legal basis for national implementation of the European Directive in 1996. Other countries had made a start before this.
  • The prevention and recycling of packaging can only be realised all over Europe if the EU Member States work together. If manufacturers were forced to attach different national trade marks to the packaging, this would certainly obstruct the import/export trade. The "Packaging Recovery Organisation Europe s.p.r.l." (PRO EUROPE), which is domiciled in Brussels, was founded to avoid trade barriers like this from the very beginning.
  • In the meantime European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission agreed to a revision of the Packaging Directive which came into force on February 18, 2004 (2004/12/EC).
  • In the following you can see an overview about the old and the new recovery and recycling quotas which all member states have to fulfil:


  REVISION of the Packaging Directive 94/62/EG
Old Directive

New Directive
(February 2004)
  Deadline for all to 30.06.2001 to 31.12.2008
  for P, GR, IRE to 30.06.2005 to 31.12.2011
  for new members 2005 - 2009 2012 - 2015
  Recovery Min.: 50 % Min.: 60 %
    Max.: 65 % Max.: -
  Recycling Min.: 25 % Min.: 55 %
    Max.: 45 % Max.: 80 %
  Recycling specific Materials  
Min.: 15 % Min.: 60 %
Min.: 15 % Min.: 60 %
Min.: 15 % Min.: 50 %
Min.: 15 % Min.: 22,5 %
Min.: - Min.: 15 %