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Fortnightly Bulletin – 5th December 2022

8 December 2022



Packaging Waste: Prepare For Extended Producer Responsibility

In July 2022, guidance was published for UK organisations, on how they can prepare for extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging.

The regulations will apply to all UK organisations that handle and supply packaging to consumers and to businesses. Organisations will need to take action to comply if all the following apply:

  • They are an individual business, subsidiary or group (but not a charity)
  • They have an annual turnover of £1 million or more (based on your most recent annual accounts)
  • They are responsible for over 25 tonnes of packaging in a calendar year (January to December)
  • They carry out any of the packaging activities listed in the guidance

This guidance has been updated to make it clear that organisations will not need to take action if they import packaged goods on behalf of another organisation. In this case, the organisation who they import the goods for will need to take action.

Small organisations must create an account and register from January 2024. Large organisations must create an account and register from July 2023.

To read more on this updated guidance, click here.

How to Collect Your Packaging Data For Extended Producer Responsibility

For organisations affected by EPR for packaging, they will need to report their packaging data. They must be ready to collect the correct packaging data from the 1st January 2023, and should start preparing now to capture this data.

Guidance has been produced for UK organisations that will be affected by extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging, on how to collect their packaging data. It includes:

  • what data needs to be collected
  • packaging activity data
  • packaging material and weight data
  • packaging type data, waste type data
  • how parent companies should report data
  • examples of how to report data

To read more on this guidance, click here.

Control and Monitor Emissions For Your Environmental Permit

In 2016, guidance was produced for those who are applying for a new permit, or already have a permit to find out how to control and monitor emissions from activities that may cause pollution.  

The pest management plan section of this guidance has been edited. The email address to contact the Environment Agency to request a template has also been added.

To read more on this updated guidance, click here.

Articles of Interest

Batteries Linked to Hundreds of Waste Fires

Lithium-ion batteries, found in small rechargeable devices such as toothbrushes, toys, phones and laptops, have become more powerful in recent years and can explode if damaged or crushed.

Ben Johnson, from the Environmental Services Association (ESA), told BBC News “more and more people were putting devices containing these batteries in with household rubbish” or mixing them with other recycling.

Local authorities say that batteries thrown in household general waste bins cause around 700 fires a year in waste collection trucks and waste-processing centres.  These fires are costing fire services and waste operators around £158m a year, according to The Environmental Services Association.

Non-profit organisation Material Focus, which surveyed local authorities, runs an online search tool to help people find their nearest recycling point.

National Fire Chiefs Council waste-fires lead Mark Andrews said the problem was growing as people used and disposed of more electronic devices. He said “We urge people to recycle electricals and batteries and not to dispose of them with general household waste”.

Laura Fisher, from waste-management company FCC Environment, said: “The best thing is for people to bring any batteries to their local recycling centre or to any major supermarket – most of them tend to have a recycling bin for batteries there.”

Fire safety experts and electrical-waste campaigners are calling for clearer rules on the safe disposal of batteries – including how to recycle them. The government has now delayed a consultation on this issue until 2023.

Source: BBC News

To read the full article, click here.

CDP Warns That Firms Are Failing to Act on Their Biodiversity Commitments

Data reported through CDP in 2022 reveals that around 31% of companies have made a public commitment or endorsed biodiversity-related initiatives, with another 25% planning to do so within the next two years. This means that if these companies follow through, by the end of 2024, 56% will have voluntarily made commitments or endorsed biodiversity initiatives.

However, CDP’s data suggests that companies are currently not translating these commitments into action. For example, around 55% of companies with a public commitment have no taken steps to put these into action in the past year. Nearly 70% of these companies do not assess their value chain impact on biodiversity. This includes sectors known to cause significant damage to nature, including 74% of companies in the clothing sector, and 73% in the manufacturing sector.

CDP’s global director for environmental standards Sue Armstrong Brown said: “CDP’s new data shows that the voluntary progress already made should be all policymakers need to finally make biodiversity disclosure mandatory. Governments must seize this chance and create the enabling environment companies need to drive forward their commitments by agreeing a clear and ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework. This must include mandatory environmental disclosure through Target 15.”

CDP’s Armstrong Brown added: “Many leading companies have for years recognized the absolute need to understand their relationship to the natural world: the material and systemic risks they face, the opportunities available to them and the impacts they have on the environment.

This is also clearly reflected in the nearly 8,000 companies engaging with CDP on biodiversity.

But our findings also point to the challenges facing companies who want to take action: even when some companies are ahead of the curve and recognising these risks, commitments are not turning into action at the pace we need to boost resilience, and to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.”

Source: Edie

To read the full article, click here.

Fines and Prosecutions

Food Waste Recycling Company Fined for Illegal Waste Activities

A food waste recycling company has been fined £36,000 for the illegal spreading and storage of waste at three sites in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. They were also further ordered to pay a statutory surcharge of £170, and the Environment Agency’s investigation and legal costs of £38,008.17.

The company is involved in the disposal and recycling of waste sludge and liquid waste, the majority of which are generated by the food industry.  They had an environmental permit that allowed them to lawfully spread such waste to farmland in circumstances, where it can be demonstrated that land spreading will have agricultural or ecological benefit.

However, a condition of the company’s permit was that they must notify the Environment Agency using a deployment form, before the they could start to store or spread waste at a location, and the Environment Agency must agree to the spreading. This ensures that waste is only spread to land when it benefits either the soil or the crop being grown in it and where it will not pose a risk of harm to the environment.

In September 2022, the company pleaded guilty to eight offences, including the breach of this environmental permit condition, related to the spreading of waste to farmland in Auckley and Blaxton, Doncaster, and Susworth, Lincolnshire.

Liquid wastes containing nitrogen and phosphates were spread on land by the company at the wrong time of year or in excessive quantities, posing a risk of pollution to groundwater.

The company also pleaded guilty to illegally storing liquid waste in a storage tank on Acomb Farm between July 2017 and April 2018.

Click here to read more about the incident.

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