Environment Agency increase enforcement action on packaging non-compliance

The Environment Agency are cracking down on non-compliance with the packaging waste regulations more than ever before

In early March 2019, The Environment Agency (EA) sent an official communication to all compliance schemes warning that obligated packaging producers who fail to register as a producer are committing a criminal offence and the EA may take enforcement action. This is the first time we have seen such a statement from the EA, highlighting the fact that they are tightening up on non-compliance, so obligated companies who currently aren't complying with the packaging waste regulations are at a much higher risk of prosecution than in previous years.

What are the Packaging Waste Regulations?

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 were first introduced in the UK in 1997 with the aim of reducing the amount of packaging which ended up in landfill. Companies who own and perform a relevant activity on the packaging they handle are required to comply with the Regulations if they meet the thresholds.

The Packaging Waste Regulations obligate companies (or a group of companies) who;

  • Have a turnover of over ¬£2 million
  • Handle over 50 tonnes of packaging per year

For a group of companies, these thresholds are combined totals.

And they require businesses to:

  • Minimise the amount of packaging they put on to the market
  • Redesign the packaging so that it is less harmful to the environment
  • Encourage the amount of packaging potentially being recovered reused and recycled so that the packaging flow ultimately becomes more sustainable

What do obligated packaging producers need to do?

Businesses who meet both of the above thresholds need to either register directly with the Environment Agency by 7th April each year, or with a compliance scheme such as Comply Direct by 15th April each year and submit their packaging handled data annually.

If you have missed the registration deadline or think you may need to register for the first time as a packaging producer, please get in touch with us as soon as possible and we can help you to ensure a swift registration as well as dedicated account management support with your packaging handled data, to reduce your risk of being subject to enforcement action.

Contact our expert packaging team on 01756 794 951 or email packaging @complydirect.com