A 60% recycling goal for packaging waste by 2006 is expected to be proposed by the European Commission in the long-awaited revisions to the 1994 packaging directive. Differentiated targets are expected for specific materials as well, such as a 60% paper and paperboard rate, 50% for metals, 70% for glass and 20% for plastics. The proposal is in reaction to the completion of a study on recycling economics, which recommended a prime recycling rate between 50 and 68%. The target of the 1994 directive is between 25 and 45% - a goal reached by all member states.
Europe and Asia are ahead of of the USA on policy, but the USA in terms of infrastructure is ahead of everyone except Germany, Austria and a few other countries. Environmental producer responsibility laws in certain European countries has enabled European governments to leapfrog ahead of the USA in terms of funding for recycling.
2. Unless packagers "police themselves" on package design for recycling, some mandatory producer responsibility laws are inevitable.