Air emissions

The Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) (adopted in 2010 and formerly known as the IPPC Directive (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive), aims to reduce polluting emissions from industrial installations. The former Solvent Emissions Directive, which was adopted in 1999 and regulated industrial emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), has been incorporated into the Industrial Emissions Directive.

The Industrial Emissions Directive sets out the main principles for the permitting and control of installations based on an integrated approach and the application of best available techniques (BAT) which are the most effective techniques to achieve a high level of environmental protection. Best available techniques are set out in technical document called BREFs (Best Available Techniques Reference Document). Printing techniques are covered by the BREF on surface treatment using organic solvents. It mainly impacts heatset offset, publication gravure and flexography and packaging gravure. Intergraf produced in 1999 the publication “Printing and the Environment”, which has been widely used as a source of information for the drafting of the BREF.

Air emissions are also regulated under the National Emissions Ceilings Directive (NEC Directive) from 2001. It aims to limit emissions of four air pollutants, including VOCs, by setting national upper limits.

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