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Brussels, 30 July 2001

Packaging Waste Directive: Commission decides to pursue infringement case against Denmark

The European Commission has decided to send Denmark a formal request for failing to transpose certain sections of the Packaging Waste Directive into national law. The formal request takes the form of so-called "reasoned opinion", the second stage of formal infringement procedures under Article 226 of the EC Treaty. In the absence of a satisfactory response to the "reasoned opinion" within two months of receipt, the Commission may decide to refer Denmark to the Court.

Commenting on the decisions, the Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström, said: "I hope Denmark will make every effort to bring its national legislation into line with this Directive as soon as possible. The recovery and recycling of packaging waste is an important part of our strategy for more sustainable consumption and it is important that we all apply the same rules in order to avoid distortions in the market."

The Packaging Waste Directive (94/62/EC) aims to reduce the environmental impact of packaging and its waste on the environment. It sets percentage targets for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste and requires Member States to set up collection, recycling and recovery schemes for this waste stream.

Denmark has failed to transpose the definitions as well as the recycling and recovery targets set out in the Packaging Waste Directive into national law. Denmark has undertaken to adopt amending legislation to fill these gaps in its national legislation. However, no adopted new legislative text has been communicated to the Commission to date. 

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