What is Producer Responsibility?

zoe's washer photoFebruary is a busy time in the E4environment office…

The purpose of the Producer Responsibility Regulations is to encourage businesses to reduce packaging, reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and increase the amount of packaging that is recycled and recovered but navigating the regulations can be a bit of a challenge.

The end of February is the deadline date for the annual packaging data to be submitted to the various compliance schemes within the UK. At E4environment we can assist you in collating your packaging data and help take the stress away.

The collation of packaging data is largely dependent on the type of business and type of products the company produces or sells but we can advise you about which options would be best suited to you and your business. We aren’t a compliance scheme, so we can offer you unbiased advice about what is best for your business.

Click here to read our blog post on how to complete Packaging Data Returns and the cost of non-compliance.

The Producer Responsibility Regulations require all businesses with an annual turnover of £2million and/or handle 50 tonnes of packaging in a year to declare how much packaging they put into the UK waste stream each year. Handle means you:

  • Own the packaging on which the activities (descripted below) are carried out
  • Supply packaging or packaging materials at any stage in the chain or to the final user of the packaging
  • Carry out one or more of the activities (detailed below) or have these activities carried out on your behalf

The different activities that you can do to packaging are:

Raw Material Manufacture – produce raw material for packaging manufacture (make cardboard sheets)

Packaging Conversion – convert raw material into packaging (create cardboard boxes from sheets of cardboard)

Packing/Filling – place goods into packaging or put packaging around goods (place nails into the cardboard box)

Selling – supply packaging to the end user (sell box of nails to the final customer)

Importing – imports packaged goods or packaging materials from outside the UK (buys boxes of nails from China or brings sheets of cardboard in the UK)

Service provider – business supplies packaging by hiring it or lending it (pallets or tote bags)

Other things to consider:

Exporting – any packaging that is exported outside of the UK is not included in the 50 tonnes

Subsidiaries – if you are a holding company and your subsidiaries handle packaging, you must combine your turnover and total packaging handled.

Small packaging producer – if your turnover is between £2 and £5million then you are classed as a small packaging producer and your obligations is based on your turnover. This is known as the Allocation Method.

How do we work out your data?
We like to begin the process in the autumn, this may seem early given that the deadline isn’t until February but it ensures that we can carry out our analysis with as little disruption to your business as possible and you can concentrate on other important matters. Usually we will require some sort of sample that gives us an idea of the type of packaging you deal with and the amounts that you handle. There are a number of methods that we follow to achieve this but this all dependent on your business. We work with you and where possible incorporate your existing procedures. Once we have a sample of data we will use your final annual figures.

We will submit the data for you to your chosen compliance scheme. But we’re not just there for your data submission, we will be on hand throughout the year, keeping you updated with any developments that may affect you or your future compliance and should you be lucky enough to be audited, we will guide you through the process.

Our purpose is to make the Producer Responsibility Regulations as simple as possible. We aim take the stress away and create a calm and disruption free process.

In our next Producer Responsibility blog we will have a look at what happens after you submit your packaging data!

If you would like help with your Producer Responsibility or if you have any questions, give us a call on 01743 343403.

E4environment is an environmental consultancy providing professional, practical advice and expertise to both the private and public sector on a wide range of environmental issues.

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