Waste Packaging & Recycling Information

Waste packaging & recycling programme

Consumer Information Obligation (CIO)

By clicking here you can find out:
Where you can take your packing to be recycled
What your role is in recycling
The meaning of labels on packaging
The information in the relevant chapters in the National Waste Strategies for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Download Product Packaging Calculation Spreadsheet

Click here to use an Excel spreadsheet which has been developed by Thamesmead so that our customers can determine the breakdown of the various material contained in our product packaging.  [NB If you are using Microsoft Explorer and you want to save a copy of the spreadsheet on your computer's hard disk, right click your mouse over Click here and then select "Save Target As" to save the file.]

Customer Information

Packaging Waste Regulations extended to cover Hotels, Pubs, Clubs and
Restaurants

A change in interpretation of UK law means that major pub, club, restaurant
and hotel businesses will now be obliged to bear the costs of recycling!
To date, most hospitality operators have been unaffected by the packaging
waste regulations - for many this is no longer the case. As a result of a
recent legal ruling major pub, club, hotel and restaurants will have to
account for all beer, soft drink and mixer bottles sold to customers and pay
for them to be recycled - a significant cost, for which few will have
accounted.

So what has changed?

Until recently, the legal obligation to recycle this material has rested
with the supplier, wholesaler or distributor. This has now changed (note
1). From December 2002, major hospitality businesses will be considered the
'seller' of bottles rather than 'end-users', and will be obliged to provide
evidence that a certain percentage of this material has been recycled.
The Environment Agency states that these changes are likely to extend to
other types of packaging such as snack packets, milk cartons, sauce and
other catering portion packs. Bath and toiletry products provided for
guests are also likely to be included.

Who is affected?

The packaging waste regulations apply to any company in the packaging chain
with an annual turnover of £2 million or more that handles more than 50
tonnes of packaging per year. This will include large hotel, restaurant
pub and club chains in the UK.

What must I do now?

If you are affected by the change in ruling, you must:
Register with the Environment Agency (or the appropriate
regulator in Scotland or Northern Ireland) by the 31st December 2002. Those
who fail to register and fulfil their recycling obligations for 2002 will
be subject to enforcement action.
Measure the total amount of packaging handled by your business in
2002 and report this figure to the Environment Agency by 7th April 2003. The
report to the Environment Agency must be "as accurate as reasonably
possible".
Demonstrate that you have recovered or recycled the required
proportion of that total. The proportion is set by Government and depends
on your position in the product supply chain, e.g. manufacturer or seller. 

Is the measuring process simple?

In theory, for a small number of products, calculating the quantities of
packaging handled by your business and understanding your obligations is
relatively straightforward. Where there are many product lines and a large
number of suppliers, the situation becomes more complex - many companies
seek require party assistance.

Do we have to carry out the recycling?

You do not have to arrange for materials to be recycled yourself. Your
obligation is to obtain Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) for that portion of
the material for which you are obligated. PRNs represent material that has
been recovered or recycled and are issues by reprocessors accredited by the
Environment Agency. 
PRNs are available on the open market but many companies avoid the
distraction of purchasing PRNs by joining a compliance scheme. Compliance
schemes help companies to meet the requirements of the legislation by
purchasing PRNs on their behalf. They are also able to provide support and
advice and take care of registration with the Environment Agency. However,
you will still need to calculate the amount of packaging you handle.

What if I am already registered?

If your business is already registered, perhaps because you have a brewing
or manufacturing division, you will not need to re-register. However, you
will have to account for the changes in your next data submission. 

How much will it cost?

The costs vary according to the amount and type of packaging handled but for
many they are likely to be significant. The main components are:
Environment Agency registration fees;
Compliance scheme joining fee and annual membership fees;
Purchase of PRNs;
Third party assistance (as required).
PRNs vary in price but an indicative cost would be £30 per tonne. So for a
company with 1,000 tonnes of packaging and therefore an obligation of 283
tonnes, the annual cost of PRNs would be around £8,500.
While the costs of compliance are significant - the consequences of not
registering can also be high. Fines for non-compliance have been increasing
- one of the most recent reaching £36,000. And of course no one wants to
end up in court!

Where can I go for help?

For help and advice on the packaging waste regulations, please contact Simon
Thresh at Acona on 01865 269804 simon.thresh@acona.com.
For general questions on compliance, registration and resubmission of data
please phone the Environment Agency on 0845 933 3111.

Thamesmead Recycling Programme

Thamesmead Business Services Ltd has now set up a scheme for recycling our own internal waste and now successfully recycles 75% of our own rubbish.
Shrink wrap and cardboard are now collected in our warehouse and are compressed and made into bales using a compacting machine. We then store these bales which are then collected on a weekly basis by a recycling company. (Waste paper products).
The cost of our compacting machine is offset by the cost savings made by having fewer Waste Bins that are collected.  The environmental saving is that the rubbish that was previously put into land fill sites is now recycled.
The next stage of our programme is to save our office paper using desk top storage boxes and have it collected at the same time as the rest of our compacted bales.