The Setup of Packaging Development Targeted at Source Reduction and Environmental Regulatory Compliance
Permanent growth of packaging waste has a negative environmental effect. Therefore, volume and content of packaging are being regulated by relevant legislation. In 1994, the European Union (EU) adopted the Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (94/62/EC) (subsequently – the Directive), which set the environmental requirements for packaging but did not precisely specify the methods of their implementation. The related harmonised standards EN 13427-13432 partly filled in the gap, but a number of questions have been still left without due explanations. The EU countries were supposed to develop their own legislation, which should have been complemented with the elements that have not been elaborated on the EU level. This task appeared to be complicated for many countries for various reasons, including economic. The cost of implementation of the Directive can be high for a country, especially if it is not done carefully. As a result, the state of implementation of the Directive by the EU countries remains non-uniform. Only a few countries have fully implemented it, while others have just transferred the requirements into their own legislation, but have not implemented the obligatory enforcement measures. A big variety of packaging source reduction policies exist in the EU, which have been developed by the Member States trying to fit them to the country’s situation in terms of legislation, institutional infrastructure, conduct of the industry, etc. For this reason, their transfer from one country to another is problematic. Therefore, this study aims to develop a cost-efficient structure of the packaging development process to be applied by both the industry and state enforcement institutions and to fit into the context typical for Lithuania.