«Industrial cores are not packaging»


An amendment to Annex I of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive on packaging definitions has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The amendment harmonises the list of products being defined as «packaging», which now includes rolls, tubes and cylinders. The amendment also lists exceptions, which are valid for industrial cores used in the paper industry.

The relevant paragraph for industrial cores in the Annex reads: «Rolls, tubes and cylinders around which flexible material (e.g. plastic film, aluminium, paper) is wound, except rolls, tubes and cylinders intended as parts of production machinery and not used to present a product as a sales unit».

Industrial cores fall under the list of exceptions since they are:

  • «intended as parts of production machinery» in the downstream printing and converting machines, where a defected core would lead to rejection of the whole roll of paper as it would not run in the machine as intended;
  • «an integral part of a product and it is necessary to contain, support and preserve that product throughout its lifetime and all elements (paper and the core) are intended to be used together» as referred to in Article 3, criterion i of the Directive;
  • reused many times;
  • not «used to present a product as a sales unit» as paper is sold «per tonne» and not «per core». Examples of products where «tubes and cylinders» are used as sales units and therefore are clearly packaging are potato crisps (Pringles), tennis balls and badminton shuttlecocks sold inside a sealed tube.

Hence, Cepi concludes that industrial cores are not packaging, and will inform its national associations and relevant industry sectors on its view and advocate the transposition and implementation of the Directive to adopt the same interpretation. The Commission Directive entered into force 1 March 2013, and Sember States have to comply with this Directive by 30 September 2013 at the latest.