Waste types and controls—packaging waste
Waste types and controls—packaging waste

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Waste types and controls—packaging waste
  • Brexit impact
  • Waste (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2019
  • What is packaging?
  • Producer responsibility obligations
  • The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2015
  • Developments

Waste types and controls—packaging waste

Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007, as amended, SI 2007/871 (PROR 2007) impose on producers the obligation to recover (pre 2021 targets) and recycle packaging waste, and related obligations, in order for Great Britain to reach these targets. Note, the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/1336 and the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/1390 remove references to ‘recovery and recycling obligations’ and substitute with ‘recycling obligations’, effective 1 January 2021.

See Practice Note on Packaging and packaging waste directive—snapshot for details on the European legislation underpinning the regime.

Businesses, or ‘producers’, who introduce packaging into Great Britain are required to share the responsibility for the costs associated with reprocessing packaging waste based on their position within the supply chain.

Reflecting the ‘polluter pays’ principle, non-compliance attracts criminal sanctions. It is an offence:

  1. to contravene the producer responsibility obligations and fail to register, recover (appropriate to pre 2021 targets) and recycle packaging waste and to fail to furnish a certificate of compliance to the regulator

  2. knowingly or recklessly to provide false or misleading information, or

  3. to prevent the relevant regulator (Environment Agency in England, Natural Resources Wales, in Wales) from exercising its powers of entry and inspection

For offences committed in England and Wales on or after 12 March 2015, there is

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