In Europe, comprehensive legislation for reducing, recovering and recycling packaging waste became a reality on December 14 when the European Union Council of Ministers and the European Parliament adopted a directive on all packaging and packaging waste.
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California's detailed "green law" was upheld by a federal appeals court, which said states have a right to regulate packaging so consumers are not confused, in the same way deceptive advertising can be banned.
International companies are still responding to Germany's environmental mandates on packaging and waste disposal. Last fall, one city and a Berlin-based federal court teamed up to put fast food disposable packaging in its sights.
"We have been fighting a defensive battle for a long time," said Richard Thornburg, director of government relations for the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), in assessing the impact of the November elections.