Sustainability & Legislation

The FINAT Sustainability, Recycling and Regulatory Affairs Committees are actively working to inform members, initiate new projects and to represent the common interest of the members towards decision makers at a European level in the areas of legislation, recycling and sustainability.

FINAT working on Sustainability - posted 22 May 2014


‘In today’s environmentally-focused packaging arena, FINAT is continually evaluating what has been done to make labels support sustainable results and identifying what other measures can be taken in this respect. Our joint statement on environmental sustainability, made with other global label associations, and our connection with the Global Packaging Project, to reach global harmonisation of sustainability standards are examples of steps recently taken.

Joint TLMI-FINAT Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) Project

In recent years, there has been a growing demand for more sustainable labelling products driven by requests from governments, global brand owners and consumer groups. As a result a large number of companies in the labelling industry have created transparency on the environmental impact of their products using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

These developments have resulted in various in-house tools and methodologies within the labelling sector. Without a common sector approach there is a risk of conflicting messages to customers and suppliers.

At their ‘Sustainability Summit’ in Tokyo in 2012 the L9, the platform of label associations globally, defined insight in the environmental performance of products of the self-adhesive labelling industry as one of the key challenges for the industry. More and more multinational customers from label producers are asking for metrics to assess the (comparative) environmental footprint of their product as one of the factors to determine the choice of product decoration.

FINAT and TLMI have decided to initiate a joint LCA guidance project to ensure a level playing field, satisfy stakeholder deamndns and reduce the work burden of the industry.

The project is being executed by Pré Consultants (, a global leader in environmental measurement, methodologies and integration.

Goal of the project is to:

  • develop a harmonised LCA guidance
  • provide a common understanding of LCA
  • provide insights in the different standards available
  • offer guidance and training on the LCA methodology
  • create a level playing-field

More information about training was given as a workshop at the Technical Seminar 2016. See the recording below.

Introduction FINAT-TLMI LCA Guide

Global Packaging Project

The Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Packaging Project is bringing together the world’s leading brand owners and retailers, and their packaging suppliers and trade associations, to establish a common professional sustainability language that enables a dialogue between customers and suppliers on the parameters to be used to measure environmental progress.
The new draft Global Protocol on Packaging Sustainability 2.0 is currently under review.


As the European umbrella organisation for the self-adhesive labelling sector, FINAT actively represents the common interests of its members and affiliated national associations towards decision makers at European level. FINAT participates as a stakeholder in relevant situations and provides decision makers with sufficient and reliable information about effects of new and existing legislation for our industry.

At the moment, there are four major issues that are of concern for FINAT:

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive

On 23 March 2010, the so-called Article 21 Committee appointed by the Commission met on this issue. The question whether Release Liners and RFID tags should be considered as Packaging or Non-Packaging was on the agenda. With the help of some leading experts from the industry, FINAT has therefore submitted a separate Position Paper explaining in more details our industry's arguments in support of the fact that Release Liners should NOT be considered as packaging.

The discussion on the classification of Release Liners and RFID tags is currently still in progress, with FINAT monitoring the developments and proactively providing input where needed.

The new European Chemicals Legislation: REACH

REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) is the name of the new European chemicals legislation. All chemical substances other than polymers that are produced in quantities over 1 ton per year will need to be registered. Registration entails providing information on the properties of the chemical, which will be used for chemical safety assessments for each use for the chemical in question. Many of these requirements not only apply to substances, but also to preparations, such as adhesives.

By the first REACH deadline of 1st December 2010, nearly 25.000 registration dossiers have been successfully submitted for 4,300 substances.

The other registration deadlines were/are:
• For substances marketed between 100 and 1000 tonnes per year: 31 May 2013;
• For substances marketed between 1 and 100 tonnes per year: 31 May 2018

FINAT members are also given access to a roadmap for REACH to determine the impact of the legislation and steps to undertake for their company.

Want to know more about the ins and outs of REACH, click here.

The Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive (IPPC) and its Best Available Techniques Reference Documents (BREF's)

Food contact legislation: the Superdirective

Food labels have to comply with strict food safety requirements as set out in Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004, and Directive 2002/72/EC related to "plastic materials and articles to come into contact with foodstuffs", as well as Commission Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006 on Good manufacturing practice (GMP) for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food and additional national regulations for food contact materials. Please note that Directive 2002/72/EC will be repealed by the new Regulation (EU No 10/2011) on food contact plastic materials and articles from 1 May 2011.

For more information, FINAT members can consult our Public Affairs manager.