An interesting article on the front page of the Daily Telegraph print edition caught my eye today in which it is announced that the government, in the shape of Caroline Spelman, intends to slash packaging around toys. Christopher Hope, the Telegraph 'journalist' announces, almost breathlessly, that cardboard and polystyrene packaging around children's toys, which quickly overwhelms household bins on birthdays and at Christmas, is set to be cut back, under Government plans. As with all msm output these days it is necessary to greet stories like this with a little cynicism and start to look for the unmentioned reason and the most obvious place to go is..........? Yup, Brussels. (Digressing slightly, one wonders what a picture of La Spelman, grinning inanely and standing virtually waist-high in grass, has to do with packaging - unless of course it is to prevent her looking like that which is partially hidden.)
In 1992, the European Commission came forward with a Proposal for a Council Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste. Following a prolonged discussion in the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, Directive 94/62/EC was adopted.
This Directive aimed to harmonise national measures in order to prevent or reduce the impact of packaging and packaging waste on the environment and to ensure the functioning of the Internal Market. It contained provisions on the prevention of packaging waste, on the re-use of packaging and on the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.
In 2004, the Directive was reviewed (2004/12/EC) to provide criteria clarifying the definition of the term 'packaging'and increase the targets for recovery and recycling of packaging waste. In 2005, the Directive was revised again (2005/20/EC) to allow new Member States transitional periods for attaining the recovery and recycling targets. The 'new' Member States, Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, were given a derogation lasting until 2015 to implement the requirements of the original Directive. The 2006 European Commission Report on the implementation of Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste concluded that almost half of the Member States held derogations applying until 2015. Nevertheless, the objectives set for 2008 in Directive 2004/12/EC were to remain valid, even after 2008. Page 7 of that report shows the intention of the EU Commission to harmonise packaging for every product, regardless of the country in which it is sold.
"Past experience and ongoing cases show that unilateral measures adopted in different Member States still pose problems by requiring market operators to adapt their packaging to the requirements of each individual Member State which makes it more difficult for them to benefit from business opportunities within the internal market by selling the same product in the same packaging in different markets."
Besides the above, this latest government 'initiative' is of course also driven by the need to comply with the need to limit waste thus complying with EU environmental directives - and it will be noted that the article contains many facts about the amount of waste generated from packaging.
Once again, it would appear that both politician and MSM are not really being transparent when informing the public of the reason(s) for change - but hey, whats new?