If your business or organisation uses packaging, you may be classed as an obligated packaging producer.
Obligated packaging producers must register and meet their waste packaging recycling and recovery responsibilities. The UK Government have put these regulations in place to:
- reduce the amount of packaging produced in the first place
- reduce how much packaging waste goes to landfill
- to increase the amount of packaging waste that’s recycled and recovered
Because of the reference to waste packaging, many businesses are misled into thinking it only applies to the amount of packaging disposed of on-site. However, the taxation applies to packaging used to pack and fill goods dispatched to end-users.
Who should register as an obligated packaging producer?
Businesses should register by 7th April if you, or a group of companies you’re part of, handled 50 tonnes or more of packaging materials in the previous calendar year and you have a turnover of more than £2 million a year (based on the last financial year’s accounts).
Once registered you need to submit meet your recovery and recycling obligation, obtain evidence of compliance and submit a certificate of compliance to the Environment Agency by the 31st January the following year.
You should not include packaging you export or give to someone else to export. This includes supplies sent to the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and Republic of Ireland. You must be able to demonstrate what packaging you’ve exported.
What costs are involved?
If your business does qualify as an obligated packaging producer there is a registration cost, depending on which category your business falls into. Businesses who are obligated but fail to register are liable to fines.
Once registered, you are legally required to supply evidence of waste packaging recycling and recovery from accredited re-processors and exporters. This involves purchasing PRNs (Packaging Recovery Notes) for the tonnage of each material used.
PRNs apply to 6 packaging materials – plastic, paper, glass, wood, steel and aluminium – and are charged per tonne used. The going rate for a PRN fluctuates throughout the year depending on material demand.
How you can reduce the cost of packaging waste
To reduce the cost of packaging waste you need to address the amount of packaging used. A significant reduction in packaging not only reduces the costs associated with waste, but also reduces the original cost of procuring packaging too.
If you are interested in reducing the amount of packaging used onsite, you may be interested to read a case study about our recent work with Exertis, where we have targeted the removal of 37 tonnes of plastic packaging.
At Macfarlane packaging we work with our customers to advise on the best solutions to reduce their packaging use, as well as re-engineering packaging material to reduce the tonnage of material used. If you would like to reduce the amount of packaging your business uses, why not contact us today?