EPR – What it is and does it affect you?
In order to meet the UK Government’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The current Packaging Waste Regulations have been replaced by Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) which will be phased in throughout 2023.
EPR requires businesses to record and report information on the amount of packaging they supply, use and waste, and pay the costs associated with recycling or sending to landfill or energy recovery.
The success rate of the system has so far recorded an increase in collection and recycling of waste to over 75% in the sample countries of target materials, and it is hoped to have a similar effect in the UK once fully implemented.
What are the rules?
There are different guidelines for small and large businesses so you first need to understand what the criteria are.
A small company is classified as:
- A small organisation’s annual turnover that is between £1 million and £2 million and is responsible for handling and supplying 25 + tonnes of empty packaging or packaged items throughout the UK in a calendar year.
- Alternatively, a small organisation’s annual turnover is over £1 million and so is responsible for handling and supplying between 25 tonnes – 50 tonnes of empty packaging or packaged items through the UK market in a calendar year.
A large company is classified as:
- Annual turnover is £2 million or more and so large organisations are responsible for handling and supplying more than 50 tonnes of empty packaging or packaged products within a calendar year.
Ok, I know the size of my company, but what do I have to do?
Once you have registered for EPR (for small companies this is in 2024), you need to start to record your data on the quantity of packaging by weight (from January 2023).
Submit your data by 1st April 2024 to avoid paying a fine.
For larger organisations you will need to submit your data every six months. Registration is from July 2023, and you must pay a fee to the environmental regulator as well as purchase PRN or PERN.
You may also have to include data about packaging distributed to countries outside of the UK, known as nation data.
PRNs and PERNs
PRNs (Packaging Waste Recycling Note) and PERNs (Packaging Waste Export Recycling Note) are certificates to prove waste has been recycled properly. They can be purchased from accredited processors.
My company is part of a group, who should register?
If your company is too small to meet the criteria, then the parent company should register and include you with their figures. But if all group companies or subsidiaries are large enough, each company within the group can register independently.
What information should be included?
All packaging (primary, secondary and tertiary) that could be either recycled or go to landfill should be included by weight. Data must also include the packaging activity, material, weight and waste type. Once the information is processed this will be used to estimate fees for the following year. The easier packaging is to recycle, the lower the cost.
This sounds like a lot of work!
Yes, and companies will need to consider the resources they put into this. But potentially it could drive down the amount of waste that goes into landfill, and help companies become more considerate about the amount non-recyclable waste they produce. For more information about the scheme, visit the gov.uk website. Here is also helpful tool to keep track of your waste management.
How can Protega help?
If you would like more information on EPR please reach out. Although EPR may not affect you directly is important to be aware of – as businesses are now responsible for the ‘cradle to grave’ life cycle process.
EPR is designed to encourage businesses to use less packaging and become more eco-conscious. Our team of experts can help advise on packing techniques and materials. This will help reduce your packaging waste, but also bring down your costs, breakages and switch to sustainable alternatives.
We will continue to release more helpful resources that will guide you in managing your EPR, reducing your packaging waste and prevent cost inflations.
You can book a free EPR Packaging Review, contact us at email@example.com or call us on 01264 598440