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    Labelling of packaging

    The apt label for sustainable packaging.


    The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of packaging and packaging waste in Europe. To this end, Regulation 94/62/EC was adopted for the EU countries as a whole for all member states. In principle, the law applies to all types of packaging and is the responsibility of the distributor of packaged goods. This also includes online retailers. It is intended to encourage manufacturers and distributors to produce packaging from recyclable material. Packaging is defined as everything that is used to receive, protect and handle goods during delivery or presentation. Sales and secondary packaging, as well as transport and storage packaging, which facilitate the handling of sales units. 

    What it is about in detail:

    1. This applies to packaging materials that enter an EU country . This is because, on the basis of the regulation, these countries are obliged to label each package with its material and to indicate what the use should look like after use. 
    2.  To identify the material used, packaging must always be labelled with a recycling code. This is done for our corrugated board products with the code PAP 20, as well as for our solid board products with the code PAP 21. The code can be applied by means of an imprint or by perforation with Perfa-Type. 
    3. The 3-arrow symbol, the so-called Möbius loop, is usually used to indicate the possibility of recycling (use after use) of the packaging. Since there are some recycling symbols in circulation, image usage or copyright laws must be observed. However, the regulation and EU countries do not specify what the symbol must look like in detail. All that is required is that the marking is clearly visible. On the other hand, the coding of the packaging with PAP 20 or PAP 21 is mandatory. Below you will find a list of the recycling symbols that the model uses, including the respective model code and a symbol description.

    The symbols of Model

    Symbol 1


    The lettering in the symbol indicates that the respective manufacturer has a license/right of use from the RESY Organisation für Wertstoffentsorgung GmbH and thus meets the requirements for the return and recycling of used transport and outer packaging made of paper, solid and corrugated cardboard. When using the lettering, the corresponding license number/identification number of the packaging manufacturer must be used. (1) | Resy.de

    Symbol 2

    Recycling Icon

    This general recycling symbol identifies the return to the recycling loop. The three arrows represent the recycling cycle. (1)

    Symbol 3

    PAP 20 & PAP 21

    The use of this symbol is subject to the Packaging Act and determines the packaging material. It helps the end user to identify the material and return it to the correct recycling cycle. (1)

    (1) PAP xx is the recycling code for paper and corrugated board. For paper and cardboard, numbers 20 to 39 are reserved. Currently, three codes are defined: PAP 20 – corrugated board, PAP 21 – other board (solid board), PAP 22 – paper.


    As a customer or distributor, you are responsible for the design and use of the code and symbol of all your goods. In some countries, sufficient labelling is accepted via the delivery documents, but this only applies to packaging of B2B (business-to-business) business relationships. For B2C (business-to-customer) and especially for mail order, the aforementioned features must be applied to the goods.

    Want to know more?

    Download the full document to get country-specific information on recycling systems now.


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