Who do the Regulations affect?
Any company that manufactures packaging, leases packaging, uses packaging in the supply of its product(s) or imports packaging or a packaged product may be obligated under the Packaging Regulations. If your business carries out any of these activities it is deemed to “handle” packaging.
There are two thresholds set out in the Regulations. If your business handles packaging and meets these thresholds then by law you must register under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007.
The thresholds are:
- Handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year, and,
- Has an annual turnover of more than £2 million
The Packaging Regulations work on the principle of Shared Producer Responsibility and all companies affected will carry out one or more of the activities listed below that make up “The Packaging Chain”
- Manufacturer - Manufactures the raw materials used to make packaging
- Convertor - Converts raw materials into packaging
- Packer/Filler - Fills packaging
- Seller - Sells packaged goods to the final user of the packaging
- Importer - Imports packaging, packaging materials or packaged goods into the UK
When considering the turnover of your business, if it belongs to a group of companies the thresholds apply to the total amount of packaging handled by the group and the group’s annual turnover.
Packaging reprocessors recover or recycle packaging. Recovered packaging has been diverted from landfill and has been used as a form or fuel to generate energy or it has been recycled back into a new product.
Packaging may be recycled into new packaging products, for example, cardboard boxes may be pulped and made back into new boxes or shredded to make packing filler. Or packaging can be recycled to make a new product – for example, glass bottles can be crushed and used in the manufacture of countertops.
Approved packaging reprocessors are able to issue evidence that packaging has been recovered or recycled in the form of ePRNs.