Chemin de navigation

Left navigation

Additional tools

Autres langues disponibles: FR DE MT

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 June 2012

Environment: Commission asks Malta to comply with European legislation on packaging waste

The European Commission is concerned that Malta has incorrectly implemented the definition of packaging and packaging waste in its national law, as required by EU waste legislation. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, the Commission is sending Malta a reasoned opinion. If Malta fails to reply within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste covers all packaging waste regardless of the material used, and is intended to reduce the volume of waste and encourage sustainable growth. The Directive sets criteria for defining packaging and packaging waste that Member States are required to translate into their national legislation. The definition is important as it determines the scope of application of the Directive. The Commission has identified a number of shortcomings in Malta's transposition of the Directive, including a provision which suggests that the Maltese legislation only applies to products directly placed on the Maltese market, thus excluding products initially placed on the market in other Member States and then brought to Malta. As a result, not all packaging waste would be properly treated according to the Directive's requirements for re-use, recovery and collection.

The Commission sent a letter of formal notice about the matter on 14 March 2011. In the absence of any proof that the shortcomings have been rectified, a reasoned opinion is now being sent.


The packaging Directive aims to prevent and reduce packaging and packaging waste. It requires Member States to prevent the formation of packaging waste, to ensure that the weight and volume of packaging placed on the market is limited to the minimum, and to develop packaging reuse systems reducing their impact on the environment. It also introduces recovery and recycling targets for glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastics and wood packaging that were to be met by Malta by 2008. It covers all packaging throughout the production and consumption chain. Infringement proceedings against Poland are also at the reasoned opinion stage for this directive (see IP/11/1275).

Further information:

For current statistics on infringements in general:

See also: MEMO/12/464

More details on EU packaging and packaging waste policy:

More details on EU waste policy:

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)

Side Bar