- Who has to comply with the packaging regulations?
- What data is required and how often?
- How do I manage the data?
- What are the implications for obligated producers of the new voluntary code of practice that is to be introduced next year?
The European Packaging Directive sets targets against producers (those that contribute to putting packaging out onto the market) for the recycling and recovery of packaging waste. The Directive was transposed into legislation by member states and each country has slightly different reporting and compliance systems.
In the UK, those companies that have a turnover of £2M and handle 50tonnes of packaging need to comply with local legislation.
Companies that fall within the threshold have to collate data on the packaging materials handled in terms of the weight and material type.
The total tonnages of paper/card, plastic, metals, wood have to be pulled together against sales, and presented in a data return form.
In the UK the data has to be presented to a compliance scheme in February or to the Regulator (the Environment Agency, SEPA or NIEA) by the first week of April each year.
Collecting and managing the data can be extremely resource intensive and the complexities involved in the calculations mean that a spreadsheet can become unwieldy and prone to errors. For some companies, with a small number of product lines a spreadsheet may suffice however, for companies with multiple products a system such as GRIPS™ will retain, analyse and produce data forms accurately and relatively simply.
What are the implications for obligated producers of the new voluntary code of practice that is to be introduced next year?
2011 is likely to see the introduction of a voluntary code of practice for producer compliance schemes to increase the accuracy of data collected and submitted to the environment agencies.
The agencies have indicated that more emphasis will be placed on producers submitting accurate data in advance of the April registration date and as a result more attention will be given to the methods and processes that producers use to collate their packaging data.
It is expected that most producer compliance schemes will sign up to the code therefore obligated firms may need to review their current data reporting procedures in the coming months.