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OFT PUBLISHES ADVICE ON TWO MORE PACKAGING RECYCLING SCHEMES

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John Bridgeman, director general of Fair Trading, has published ...
John Bridgeman, director general of Fair Trading, has published

advice following competition scrutiny of a further two compliance

schemes set up to meet new regulations on the recovery and recycling of packaging.

It is recommended that the secretary of state for trade and industry should advise the Environment Agency that she is satisfied that the Jempac of Port Talbort and Wespack of Stockton-on-Tees schemes will not be anti-competitive. It is for the secretary of state to decide, in the light of the director general's advice, whether the schemes meet the requirements of competition scrutiny.

Under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997, the director general and the secretary of state must undertake a competition scrutiny of all compliance schemes before their registration with the Environment Agency or Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

NOTES

1. Jempac and Wespack are cross-sectoral and multi-material local schemes open to all obligated companies. On 15 August the director general published his advice that he was satisfied that the scheme operated by Wastepack will not be anti-competitive. This followed similar advice on 31 July 1997 on schemes operated by Valpak, Difpak and Biffpack will not be anti-competitive. He has consulted on a further scheme Recycle UK and advice will be published in due course, as will advice on two other local schemes Pennine-Pack and SWS Compak.

2. The Regulations require companies which handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging material in any relevant year, and have an annual turnover of at least£5m in that year (the threshold is to be lowered in future years), to recover and recycle specific tonnages of packaging waste and to certify that this recovery and recycling has been achieved. They can do this themselves or join a registered compliance scheme which will assume the responsibility for meeting their obligations. In order to comply with the Regulations in 1997, obligated companies (and schemes) must be registered with the appropriate agency by 31 August 1997.

3. Regulation 31 of the regulations provides that the director shall advise the secretary of state for trade & industry on whether such schemes satisfy the requirement of competition scrutiny. A scheme satisfies that requirement if:

(I) it does not have and is not intended or likely to have the

effect of restricting, distorting or preventing competition; or

that any such effect is no greater than is necessary for achieving the environmental or economic benefits mentioned in section 93(6) of the Environment Act 1995; and (ii) it will not lead, and is not likely to lead, to an abuse of market power.

4. Under Regulation 31(5), if, after considering the advice, the secretary of state is satisfied that the scheme meets the requirements of competition scrutiny, she will notify the appropriate Agency and scheme operators that it has done so.

5. The Regulations came into force on 6 March 1997.

6. Copies of the advice of the DGFT to the secretary of state on these schemes are available from the Office of Fair Trading, PO Box 172, East Molesey KT8 0XW, telephone 0181-957 5058.

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