Creation of International Packaging Standards Begins

Creation of International Packaging Standards Begins

Experts from 15 countries are meeting this week to begin developing standards to cover environmental issues related to packaging such as reuse, recycling and composting.

About 70 delegates from China, Japan, Korea, the United States and 11 European countries are meeting in Sweden for the first gathering for the SC4 Packaging and Environment committee.

The group is part of the International Standards Organization's (ISO) Technical Committee 122, which is responsible for all packaging standards.

The gathering will focus on seven standards covering source reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery, chemical recovery, composting and biodegrading. The seventh standard will be an overall standard that lays out requirements for the use of the other ones.

The new standards are expected to be finalized and in place by mid-2012. They will likely be built off of existing packaging and environmental standards already in use in Europe and Asia.

The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment (EUROPEN) has already thrown its support behind the initiative, stating that the standards "are urgently needed as an aid to a more globally harmonized approach to reducing the environmental impact of packaging."

Packaged bananas - / CC BY 2.0