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SECTOR FOCUS: PACKAGING


Ecolabeling and recycling of lubes packaging for a greener environment


Dr Srđan Sokolović, Expert coordinator for chemicals and waste management, NIS Gazprom Neft Introduction


Lubricant packaging is usually used to maintain the properties of products over a specified period of time and for the safe storage of lubricants during transport, handling and storage [1]. The EU Packaging Directive 94/62/EC which covers packaging and packaging waste was introduced in 1994. The introduction of this directive ensures that packaging and packaging waste is made from materials that are environmentally friendly and of a uniform nature.


The fundamental criteria of this directive, are as follows: • Unnecessary packaging must be prevented. • Maximisation of recycling of unavoidable packaging waste.


• Reduction in waste disposal costs.


The directive has defined the standard which binds all manufacturers and retailers, that packaging placed on the market meets the following requirements [1]: • The lowest possible weight and volume of material. • Safe and hygienic relevant properties. • Consumer acceptance. • The maximum reduction of hazardous substances and components in the packaging material. • Reusable and recyclable materials.


Lubricants can be packed in several different types of packaging [2]: • Lubricant oil bottle. • Drums. • Pails. • Containers.


Lubricant packaging [2] is further divided based on materials used for production of packaging into


30 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.164 AUGUST 2021


metals and plastics. Packaging made of metal [2] can be divided into steel, tin and aluminium metal packaging.


Packaging made of plastics [2] can be divided into polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene and others.


Main Directive and Regulations Under Directive 94/62/EC these are the requirements specific to the recoverable nature of packaging: • Packaging recoverable in the form of material recycling.


• Packaging recoverable in the form of energy recovery.


• Packaging recoverable in the form of composting. • Biodegradable packaging.


According to Directive 94/62/EC, biodegradable packaging waste must be of such nature that it can undergo physical, chemical, thermal or biological decomposition such that most of the finished compost ultimately decomposes into carbon dioxide, biomass and water.


The most important certification organisations in Europe [3] are DIN CERTCO and Vinçotte both relating to bioplastics. Materials made of renewable resources are certificated [3] based on ASTM D6866 standard by both certification bodies. Certificates [3] for biodegradable products are also issued by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) in the United States, BioPlastic Association of Japan as well as by other widely used certification organisations. List of the main certification organisations for bioplastics are given in Table 1.


Continued on page 32


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