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Reducing Plastic Waste – Are you an obligated packaging user?

11 July 2018

In last weeks blog, we discussed the impacts of using plastic for packaging and looked at the targets set of recycling and purchasing recycled packaging materials. We will now look at how to determine if you are an obligated packaging user and what you else you are required to do in fulfilment of these regulations.

You are considered to be an obligated packaging user if your business or organisation has handled 50 tonnes of packaging materials in the past calendar year and has a turnover of more than £2 million a year (based on your last financial year’s accounts).

What constitutes as packaging?

By definition, packaging is any material that is used to hold, protect, handle, deliver and present goods. This includes any packaging used to hold the raw materials in addition to the finished goods to be sold or being sold. Examples include pallets, cardboard boxes, bags, containers, tubes, plastic wrapping and clothes hangers (when sold as part of the clothing item).

What ‘handling’ means

A packaging handler takes part in any of the below activities:

  • Raw material manufacture – produce raw materials for packaging manufacture;
  • Packaging conversion – convert raw materials into packaging;
  • Packing/filling – put goods into packaging or put packaging around goods;
  • Selling – supply packaged goods to the end user;
  • Importing – import packaged goods or packaging materials from outside the UK; this includes raw materials that will become packaging, for example, plastic pellets used to make bottles;
  • Service provider – a business that supplies packaging by hiring it out or lending it.

Furthermore, as a handler you will:

  • Own the packaging on which the activities are carried out
  • Supply packaging materials or packaging materials at any stage in the chain or to the final user of the packaging

What are your requirements as an obligated packaging user?

If you meet the above requirements, as an obligated packaging user every year you must:

  • Register as a packaging user by 7 April;
  • Meet your recovery and recycling obligations;
  • Obtain evidence of compliance;
  • Submit a certificate of compliance (CoC) by 31st January the following year.

This is in addition to the waste duty of care rules all businesses must follow. For further information on your requirements as an obligated packaging user, click here.

Are you covering all your requirements as an obligated packaging user?

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