In Italy, from the 1st January 2022, environmental labelling will be mandatory for all packaging.
The obligation is provided for by Legislative Decree no. 116 of the 3rd September 2020 which transposes Directive (EU) 2018/851.
The Italian decree provides that all packaging must be “appropriately labeled according to the procedures established by the UNI technical standards and in accordance with the determinations adopted by the European Commission, in order to facilitate the collection, reuse, recovery and recycling of packaging, as well as to give correct information to consumers on the final destinations of packaging.”
The environmental labelling for single-component packaging intended for the Italian market, both for consumer and professional use, must contain the following information:
- The identification code of the packaging material according to Decision 129/97/CE
- Directions for proper waste collection, using the sentence “Raccolta [family of material which predominates by weight]” or indicate the family of material prevailing in weight, accompanied by the sentence “Raccolta differenziata”, inviting the consumer to verify the provisions of the Municipality.
Neutral packaging (non-printed packaging which does not include graphics or the affixing of any symbology and information, and which are sold as is to customers by manufacturers), such as transport packaging or packaging related to logistical or exhibition activities, may not present information relating to the final destination of the packaging. However, they must bear the code of the composition materials in accordance with the Decision 129/97/EC. All other information may be affixed to the label voluntarily.
In accordance with the Italian legislative decree of 3rd September 2020, all packaging imported and released for consumption in Italy are subject to the labelling obligation with no exclusions.
With a note of the 17th May 2021, the Italian Ministry of Ecological Transition clarified that “where actual physical and/or technological limits for the physical affixing of environmental labeling on packaging can be ascertained, such information can be conveyed through digital channels, or where this path is not practicable either, it must be made available through the websites of the company and/or retailer“.
This applies especially to neutral packaging, i.e. intended for professional use.
For these packaging, the material of composition of the packaging can be identified both on the transport documents accompanying the goods and on other external supports, including digital ones.