Environment and packaging: legal requirements and extension to adapt labelsAlessandro
On 11 September 2020, Legislative Decree 3 September 2020, n. 116, which transposes EU directive 2018/851 on waste and EU directive 2018/852 relating to packaging and packaging waste, in force since September 26, 2020. The new Legislative Decree provides that all packaging is “appropriately labeled according to procedures established by the applicable UNI technical standards and in compliance with the determinations adopted by the Commission of the European Union, to facilitate the collection, reuse, recovery and recycling of packaging, as well as to provide consumers with correct information on the final destinations of the packaging. Producers are also obliged to indicate, for the purposes of identification and classification of the packaging, the nature of the materials used, on the basis of Commission Decision 97/129/ EC. ”
WHAT IS THE INFORMATION ON THE FINAL DESTINATIONS OF THE PACKAGING?
The information relating to the final destinations of the packaging are those that communicate the correct delivery of the packaging at the end of its life, such as “Separate collection. Check the provisions of your Municipality.” the structuring of the minimum contents of the environmental label according to the destination circuit of the packaging:
B2B (Professional) or B2C (Consumer).
If the packaging is intended for the B2B channel, the contents required by obligation concern only the alphanumeric identification code of the material as per Decision 129/97 /EC, while additional additional information on the collection is voluntary. While, if the packaging is intended for the final consumer (B2C), the contents required by obligation concern:
- The alphanumeric identification code of the material as per Decision 129/97/EC;
- Information to support the final consumer in the correct separate collection of packaging (eg “Separate collection + Family of material. Check the provisions of your municipality”).
ENVIRONMENTAL LABELLING OF SINGLE-COMPONENT AND MULTICOMPONENT PACKAGING INTENDED FOR THE CONSUMER
For single-component packaging intended for the final consumer, the following information must be reported: the identification code of the packaging material according to Decision 129/97/EC; information on collection (eg “Separate collection + Family of material. Check the provisions of your municipality”). For multi-component packaging, therefore consisting of several components, it is necessary to distinguish the components that cannot be separated manually (for example, a paper label attached to a glass jar), from the components that can be separated manually by the final consumer. Specifically, a component that the user can completely separate from the main body with only the use of the hands is considered to be manually separable, without having to resort to additional tools and tools and run into situations that would endanger health. This is because the identification and classification pursuant to Decision 129/97/ EC must be provided for all manually separable components of the packaging system.
THE 2021 MILLEPROROGHE DECREE AND THE PARTIAL SUSPENSION OF THE OBLIGATION
On 31 December 2020, the Decree Law of 3 December 2020, n. 183, so-called “Milleproroghe 2021”, in force from 31 December 2020. The Decree provides for the SUSPENSION until 31 December 2021 of the obligation to affix on the packaging intended for the B2C channel the indications for proper disposal in separate waste collection. Therefore, companies in the sector will have a year to comply with the obligation and also enter this information on packaging intended for the final consumer. The Decree does not, however, provide for the suspension of the obligation to affix the alphanumeric identification code of the material on the packaging as per Decision 129/97/EC. Therefore all packaging (primary, secondary, tertiary) must include this coding, remembering that the obligation is expressly for the producers.
AN ADVANTAGE FOR CONSUMERS, COMPANIES, AND MORE
Thanks to this type of communication, consumers will have a clearer vision of how waste is disposed of, actively contributing to a reduction in environmental impacts, also increasing their awareness of a more eco-sustainable lifestyle. Companies, on the other hand, will be able to consider this obligation as an opportunity to highlight the corporate choices inherent in sustainability, as well as a stimulus to designing responsible packaging, increasingly in line with the environmental challenge that characterizes this historical period in which nature are increasingly in need of active and targeted intervention by man.
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