Work to begin on international packaging and environment standards
Comprehensive effort could have implications for packagers worldwide.
-- Packaging Digest, 12/8/2009 1:07:38 PM
Work on development of international standards for packaging and the environment will begin at a meeting in Stockholm this Thursday and Friday 10 and 11 December. More than 70 delegates are expected to attend the meeting with experts from China, Japan, Korea and the USA joining those from 11 European countries.
EUROPEN, The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment, whose membership embraces most global corporations in the packaging value chain, has welcomed the initiative. The organization’s members believe the standards are urgently needed as an aid to a more globally harmonized approach to reducing the environmental impact of packaging.
Commenting on the ISO project Julian Carroll, EUROPEN’s Managing Director said "Adoption of global standards on packaging and the environment will provide a foundation reference point for any regional or local initiatives -- either from the public or corporate sector -- aimed at addressing environmental concerns about packaging. We are witnessing a rapid growth in the number of such initiatives, particularly outside Europe. Sometimes their goals are contrary to each other and occasionally they don’t make any environmental sense. The proposed ISO standards could become a much needed benchmark for any proposed regional, national or even local packaging regulation."
Carroll pointed out that presently the Consumer Goods Forum (formerly Global CEO Forum) is working on a global packaging project aimed at fostering a harmonized supply chain understanding of common definitions, principles and metrics to provide a framework to measure packaging in the context of the three pillars of sustainability. He said: "The Consumer Goods Forum has agreed that all of the principles and indicators which they adopt will be subject to compliance with any applicable international standards. Therefore the ISO work is seen as a global underpinning of the Forum’s initiative."
For the ISO work the International Standards Organization has approved the establishment of a new subcommittee (SC4 Packaging and the Environment) under the ISO Technical Committee 122 which is responsible for all standards related to packaging. In granting this approval by resolution of the ISO Technical Management Board earlier this year it was agreed the Secretariat for the sub-committee would be shared between China and Sweden. The Swedish Standards Institute will host this week’s inaugural meeting.
The Technical Management Board also resolved that the newly created SC4 maintain liaison with ISO TC 207 which is responsible for development of ISO environment related standards. It has been proposed that the new ISO standards be based on the existing European packaging and environment standards developed by CEN which are linked to the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and the Asian guidelines for environmentally conscious packaging.
After the adoption of the CEN standards in 2005 the Asian Packaging Federation, modified and adapted the European standards as Guidelines for Environmentally Conscious Packaging. The Asian initiative resulted from the work of the Japan Packaging Institute in consultation with EUROPEN and CEN.
ISO has proposed that six standards be developed dealing respectively with source reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery, chemical recovery, composting and biodegradation. These six standards will be covered by a seventh "umbrella standard" setting out requirements for their use. The present timetable for the completion of the standards envisages their approval by the second quarter of 2012.
Nancy Keller - 2010-12-1 16:45:09 EST
Packaging material "renewability" is a key issue in the establisment of Sustainability standards and needs to be at the top of a scale of packaging evaluation.
Joseph Grygny - 2009-11-12 10:18:57 EST
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