Packaging compliance scheme for businesses

The Packaging Waste regulations were the first in a series of Producer Responsibility legislation aimed at encouraging reduction, reuse and recycling.

Based on the Shared Producer Responsibility principle, the regulations encourage companies to reduce the environmental impact of the packaging they place into the UK market.

If you are an obligated company you have a legal responsibility to register with the relevant Agency and offset your packaging usage.

Alternatively you can register with a packaging compliance scheme, such as that operated by Veolia, who will take on the legal obligations imposed by the Packaging Waste legislation on your behalf, allowing you to concentrate on your core business.

From the purchase of Packaging Waste Recovery Notes (PRNs) to Consumer Information Obligations, find out more about your registration obligations here. 

Packaging Regulations: Are you compliant?
Find out more about whether your organisation is obligated under the Packaging Regulations.

For any company to be classified as an obligated producer, the following criteria must ALL be met:
  • An annual group turnover in excess of £2million, AND
  • Taken an active role in the manufacturing / packing / selling / importing of packaged goods for the UK market, AND
  • Handled in excess of 50 tonnes of packaging materials in the previous calendar year
If you've answered yes to all of the above then it is likely you are required to register as a producer of packaging waste, which can be done via Veolia’s Packaging Compliance Scheme. 
Packaging Membership and Data Form
PDF - 411.27 KB
Packaging compliance
PDF - 1.96 MB
Packaging Terms & Conditions
PDF - 74.01 KB
Consumer Information Obligations (CIO)

If your main activity is selling packaging, you are obliged, under the Consumer Information Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, to provide your customers with information.

First imposed in 2000, you must provide your customers with information on:
  • Where the packaging you have supplied can be recycled and recovered
  • The role consumers have in contributing to UK recycling and recovery systems
  • How you are taking steps to recycle and recover packaging
  • The meaning of markings and labels commonly found on UK packaging
  • Applicable packaging sections of the National Waste Strategy
Veolia can help you offset this obligation. Find out more about our Packaging Compliance Scheme or visit the Recycle Now website for further information where you can find the various packaging symbols explained.
Packaging Compliance - Frequently Asked Questions

As a manufacturer, seller or importer your packaging or packed goods could fall under Packaging Compliance Obligations. Here are the answers to some of your frequently asked questions. 

Packaging compliance can be a complicated subject. Below is a list of frequently asked questions that could help you determine what your obligations may be.

What are the Regulations designed to do?
The Packaging Regulations were first introduced in 1997 as a way of diverting the flow of packaging waste to landfill.

Who is obligated under the Regulations?
If you manufacture, sell, or import packaging or packaged goods then you may be obligated. This includes transit packaging.

What are the thresholds to become obligated?
The Packaging Waste Regulations apply to UK businesses that handle 50 tonnes or more of packaging per annum and have a group turnover greater than £2 million.

Why should I register?
If your company meets these thresholds, or is part of a group of companies that does, then you are required by UK law to register with a Compliance Scheme or directly with the appropriate Agency. Failure to do so may result in enforcement action or criminal undertakings against your organisation.

What types of packaging should I count?
To put it simply; packaging is classed as anything ‘used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery, and presentation of goods’.

There are 6 packaging classifications:
  • Paper / Card - cardboard boxes, labels, edge protectors, dividers, internal rolls etc.
  • Glass - bottles, jars, etc.
  • Plastic - shrink wrap, drums, IBCs, pallets, strapping, food and beverage packaging, etc.
  • Aluminium - cans, foil trays, composite lids, etc.
  • Steel - cans, drums, banding, etc.
  • Wood - pallets, crates, spacers, etc.
Do I count imports and exports?
Yes.  It is important that you declare all imported transit and product packaging. Exports are also declared but they are deducted from your final total.

What is a Packaging Waste Recovery Note (PRN)?
Think of PRN as a receipt to prove that the above materials have been recovered and recycled. For every one tonne of material that passes through an approved waste reprocessor, such as a paper mill or wood chip mill, one receipt (PRN) is raised. Dependent upon how much packaging you have handled in the previous year; you must purchase these receipts as proof that you have offset the impact of the packaging that you have placed on the UK market. 

What is the role of the Packaging Compliance Scheme?
We will visit you at site to make you aware of all your obligations and assist you with capturing the relevant data.  Once this has been done we calculate your obligation and purchase the relevant amount of PRNs on your behalf.  Once we have received accurate data from you we absorb your legal liability for complying with the Regulations.
Packaging compliance membership scheme

Our packaging compliance scheme offers members recycling and recovery expertise, over a decade of producer responsibility experience and complete peace of mind.

With the most extensive network of recycling and recovery infrastructure in the country, we have direct access to large quantities of packaging waste, and it is this material that we use to acquire low cost Packaging Waste Recovery Notes (PRNs) from our pool of approved reprocessors.

This sustainable approach ensures that even when there is a shortage of PRNs we will always have enough evidence to fulfil your obligations in a cost effective manner.
As a member you will benefit from:
  • over 15 years of unblemished compliance experience
  • competitive PRN and membership pricing
  • a dedicated account manager to assist with data submissions, agency audits and packaging queries
  • regular updates to keep you abreast of legislation
  • free 1-2-1 training and access to seminars
  • recycling and waste minimisation audits
  • full discharge of your Consumer Information Obligations (if you main activity is selling packaging)
  • battery and WEEE compliance expertise
One of the foremost advantages of Veolia’s registered compliance scheme is that our core business is waste management.

We are ideally placed to advise you on best practice for waste minimisation with a view to reducing your packaging obligation. This can include exploring the possibility of using your own waste as a means of procuring PRNs.

Already with a scheme?
Why not contact us today to find out how we could help you save money and give you peace of mind that your obligations are met.

For further information or to join our packaging compliance scheme simply contact us or alternatively download the forms below.