Can the symbol represented by three arrows in the shape of a triangle, containing an alphanumeric code as per Decision 97/129/EC, or another such symbol be used as to identify the packaging material?

Over the years, the identification of packaging material – not a legal requirement before 26 September 2020 – has been widely adopted by companies, in the different manners laid down by various rules and regulations. For example, many packages have been labelled with symbols that refer to the CEN/CR 14311 report (i.e. the Alu symbol inside circular arrows, the icon of a magnet to identify steel packages, or plastic polymer codes inside arrows in the shape of a triangle); plastic packaging made of one or more polymers not covered by Decision 129/97/EC has often been identified with the symbol “7” or “07 other”, sometimes placed within three arrows in the shape of a triangle.

Although these approaches have become real practice in the market for identifying these packaging materials, based on what is clearly stated in the standard, it is necessary to identify packaging materials by adopting Decision 129/97/EC. However, if the above practices include the alphanumeric encodings of Decision 129/97/EC (as in the case of triangles consisting of chasing arrows), they can be adopted, as the mandatory information of the material identification code would still be present.

Last modified on 15/09/2022