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Packaging Waste Regulations: A Quick Guide

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Are you familiar with UK Packaging Waste Regulations? If you  or your company produce, sell or use packaging, you need to be informed.

The Packaging Waste Regulations introduced in 2003 and updated in 2007 aim to:

  • Reduce the amount of packaging being produced
  • Reduce how much packaging goes into landfill
  • Increase the amount of packaging waste that’s recycled and recovered

The regulations require that you register your business and meet specified recycling targets if you’re classed as an obligated packaging producer.

For the purposes of the regulations, you should consider “Packaging”as material used to hold, protect, handle, deliver and present goods. Examples you might use include boxes, pallets, bags, stretch wrap, and even clothes hangers.

These regulations are in addition to the disposal of waste regulations all businesses must adhere to.

Are you affected by Packaging Waste Regulations?

You’ll be classed as an obligated packaging producer if your company handles 50 tonnes or more of packaging each year and has a turnover of more than £2m. This excludes any packaging that your company exports. If your turnover is between £2 – £5m, you’ll have small producer status.

You should be aware that handling activities include manufacturing, converting, packing, selling, supplying and importing packaging.

What you need to do…

As an obligated packaging producer, you’ll need to do these things every year:

  • register as a packaging producer by 7 April
  • meet your recovery and recycling obligation
  • obtain evidence of your compliance
  • submit you certificate of compliance by 31 January the following year

So how do you register? You can join a compliance scheme or sign up to the National Packaging Waste Database yourself. If you join a compliance scheme, they will obtain and submit a certificate of compliance on your behalf.

When you submit your packaging data, you’ll receive automatically generated recovery and recycling targets, which you need to adhere to. The targets you’ll be given will depend on the material of the packaging you handle.

If you need more information, visit the website.

The impact on your bottom line…

If you don’t meet the UK Packaging waste regulations, you could be fined or even face prosecution under criminal law. Plus, you can even be charged late fees, if you register as a packaging producer after the deadline date.

So, adhering to these regulations and reducing your packaging waste will support the environment and help you minimise the risk of hefty penalties.

Do you need help minimising waste?

We can help you minimise packaging waste in your supply chain. Simply call  01902 496666, email us or complete our contact form to book time with one of our experts.