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Home > The World of Plastics & Recycling > UK Packaging Legislation and Strategy > What Are The Statutory Responsibilities ?

What Are The Statutory Responsibilities ?

Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive is implemented in the UK via the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, which came into force in March 1997. The Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations place obligations on certain businesses to register with the Environment Agency / Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) or compliance schemes, to recover and recycle specific tonnages of packaging waste, certifying that this recovery and recycling has been achieved.

This affects your company if you;

  • have a turnover of £2 million or more; and
  • handle 50 tonnes of packaging or more per year

N.B. These thresholds apply to groups of companies as well as individual companies

Your company is not obligated if you:

  • handle less than 50 tonnes of packaging per year with a turnover of more than £2 million per year
  • handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging but have a turnover of less than £2 million per year

To ensure that you do not unwittingly become obligated but fail to comply, it is wise to monitor your turnover and packaging handling levels carefully.

Responsibility for compliance is shared along the production chain, by importers, manufacturers (packer/fillers), distributors and retailers. The obligation to meet the targets is shared as follows: raw materials 6%; converters 9%; packer fillers 37%; sellers to the end market 48%.

Recovery Obligation = Obligated packaging handled x activity obligation x UK recovery target for the year in question.

Recycling Obligation by Material = Obligated packaging handled by material x activity obligation x UK recycling target for the year in question.

Obligated companies can fulfil their obligation via two routes:

  • By obtaining evidence (e.g. Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) or Export Packaging Recovery Notes (PERNs)) that material has been processed, directly from the reprocessors;

or

  • Through a compliance scheme that will obtain evidence on their behalf (e.g. Valpak) and take on board some other legal requirements for a fee.

Full details of accredited plastic reprocessors, producers and compliance schemes can be found on the Environment Agency public registers here http://npwd.environment-agency.gov.uk/PackagingPublicRegisterLinks.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fPublicRegister.aspx

 

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