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Packaging and Environment

Verpackung und Umwelt
: Ziegahn, K.-F.

Yamamoto, R.:
Advanced Materials '93. V/A: Ecomaterials
1994 (Transactions of the Materials Research Society of Japan 18A)
IUMRS International Conference on Advanced Materials. Symposium K: Environment Conscious Materials <3, 1993, Tokyo>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer ICT ()
CEN; degradation; environment; materials; packaging; recovery; reuse; standardization; waste; Umweltschutz; Verpackung

Environmental concern on packaging and packaging materials is growing worldwide, mainly related to waste management and waste treatment, but also with respect to resources and energy saving efforts. In Europe, a directive on packaging and packing waste issued by the European Community administration is currently being discussed and may be implemented within 1993 or 1994. The aim of this directive is the reduction of packaging waste by requiring - reusable packaging - recovery of packaging materials, - energy recovery from packaging waste to a certain, quantitativly defined extend. From the environmental point of view there are clear priorities on packaging: avoidance of waste by reuse, recovery of packaging waste by material recovery or at least by energy recovery, minimization of materials for final deposition. Methods to evaluate the environmental impact are life cycle analysis and assessment ("eco balance sheets") as well as the aim of a closed loop material economy. The European st andardization organization CEN is currently developping criteria for environmental conscious packaging, including terminology, life cycle analysis, material recovery, energy recovery, degradability and composting. Thus this standards will affect in future distribution technology, packaging materials development, e.g. biodegradable plastics, reusable and refillable packaging and also packaging testing relating to transportation loads.