Packaging Waste and Recycling
E.C Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (94/62/EC) 2007 Background As the UK’s response to the EC Directive on packaging and packaging waste, the Producer Responsibility Obligation (Packaging Waste) Regulations came into force in 1997. These Regulations affect any UK company with an annual turnover in excess of £2 million and who handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging material an any given year. The Directive places specific targets on all EU members to recycle the amount of packaging they produce so achieving a more sustainable approach to dealing with packaging waste while at the same time reducing the amount of packaging going to landfill. Targets were set in the Directive placing a legal responsibility on the UK to recover/recycle by 2001 a minimum of 50% of weight of packaging and a minimum of 15% within the general target, of 15% recycling for each material. The second round of targets for EU members came into force in January 2003 and was implemented by the UK Government on the 1st January 2004. The new targets required the UK to recycle 75% of all packaging in the waste stream by 2008. In order to ensure that adequate recycling rates are achieved in each material sector the Government had introduced specific material recycling target rates. These rates for 2009 are as follows: Glass 80%, Aluminium 38%, Steel 68.5%, Paper 68.5%, Plastic 27% and Wood 21%. To implement the Directive the Packaging Waste Regulations came into force in 1997. It placed legal responsibilities on companies to declare the amount of packaging they place in the waste stream, in this way the Government could calculate a levy charge to each producer. The money generated in this way could then be channelled to the reprocessing/recycling industries through the PRN (Packaging Recovery Note) system so that sector can increase recycling capacity to meet increasing demand as recycling targets increase. Responsibilities There are three main responsibilities placed on producers who handle packaging, these can be achieved through the individual route or via a compliance scheme.
- A Registration Obligation, including a related packaging data requirement.
- A Recovery and recycling obligation.
- A Certifying Obligation.