Packaging waste: environmental responsibilities
You must follow environmental regulations when designing, filling or importing packaging.
Amount of materials used
Packaging must meet the minimum weight and volume needed to keep the product safe and hygienic.
Packaging materials must not exceed heavy metal concentration limits of 100ppm (parts per million). The heavy metals these limits apply to are cadmium, mercury, lead and hexavalent chromium.
Recyclable packaging must be designed so that a certain percentage of the materials used are recyclable.
Packaging for energy recovery
Packaging designed to be disposed of through energy recovery (energy through burning materials) must contain at least 50% of organic materials that burn, eg paper, wood, cardboard.
Packaging designed for composting must be biodegradable.
Reusable packaging must be designed so that it can be used several times. Once it has been reused, it must meet the requirements for recycling, energy recovery or composting.
Read the detailed guidance on packaging design.