Changes to the European Packaging Directive came into force on September 30th 2013.
The amendments will impact the UK Packaging Regulations, in regards to the scope of what is considered to be packaging. Producers affected by the change will need to amend their reporting for 2014 onwards.
The changes to the Directive have provided clear guidance on whether some specific items are classed as packaging and, as a result, this will change the reporting for producers moving forwards.
The revisions to the Directive are aimed at harmonising the approach taken by all member states in regards to items which are classed as packaging. The majority of the changes do not actually impact the UK. The reason for this is that most of the packaging items included in the revision are already classed as packaging for the purpose of reporting under the UK Packaging regulations.
There are three specific examples of items which were previously not classed as packaging (and therefore exempt under the scope of the regulations) which will now be obligated under the UK Packaging Regulations. These are as follows;
- Industrial rolls, tubes and cylinders around which flexible material (for example plastic film/aluminium/paper) is wound,
- Safety matchboxes,
- Refillable steel cylinders used for various kinds of gas.
What impact does this have on producers?
For producers who are already registered under the UK Packaging Regulations and who handle industrial rolls, tubes or cylinders, safety matchboxes or refillable steel gas cylinders, the weights of these packaging items will need to be included in their reporting for 2014 (based upon 2013 sales data) onwards.
For any companies who are not currently registered under the Packaging Regulations, it is worth checking your tonnage of packaging handled, including the above packaging items, in case their inclusion means that your business meets the 50 tonne packaging handled threshold and has an obligation to register as a Producer.
If you have any questions about how the changes to the Directive will affect your reporting requirements, please don't hesitate to contact one of the Compliance Team on 0845 094 2228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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James Piper is CEO of Ecosurety. As well as providing a consistently high service to our customer base of over 1,000 companies, James is driven to bring about positive change in the compliance market through increased transparency and accountability. Since taking this position in 2016, James has worked to demonstrate that recycling compliance need not be perceived as a tax, but an opportunity for brands to align their producer responsibility obligations with their sustainability agenda.
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