Organic recycling is defined by the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC (amended in 2005/20/EC) as the aerobic treatment (industrial composting) or anaerobic treatment (biogasification) of packaging waste.

The EU Directive refers to the harmonised European standard for the industrial compostability of plastic packaging: EN 13432. An equivalent standard has been approved by the European standardisation organisation CEN for the testing of compostability of plastics: EN 14995.

In order to make organic recycling of biodegradable packaging more effective, a mandatory separate collection of biodegradable waste and legal access for certified compostable products to enter the respective recycling systems would be needed.