be no changes to the recovery and recycling targets in 2003
throughout the UK.
recycling targets currently in effect in 2002 under the Producer
Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as
amended) and the parallel statutory instruments in the devolved
administrations will remain in force throughout 2003.
Michael Meacher said:
'I have agreed that there should be no change in the business targets
for 2003 because we still do not know what targets the new packaging
Directive is going to set, nor to what deadline. I am also aware that
industry needs to start now to set in place the infrastructure they
will need to meet higher targets. However, it should be absolutely
clear that a significant uplift in the Directive targets is certain;
there should be no doubt about that. It would be foolish to put off
the development of the recovery and, particularly, collection
The UK now needs to extract more packaging waste from the household
stream but setting such collection systems in place can take 18
months to two years. I would expect the focus next year to be on
taking steps to ensure that the necessary collection systems will be
in place to deliver the next Directive targets'.
Mr Meacher also said that industry was well aware of the range of
proposals for new Directive targets being discussed and that these
were going to be very challenging. The likely level of targets needed
to be kept in mind by all obligated businesses and compliance
schemes. He added ' whatever targets are agreed in the Directive, it
will be necessary to introduce changes to the UK Regulations in 2004
to set the UK on course to achieve these'.
Mr Meacher also said that the businesses involved needed to focus now
on how best to extract more packaging waste from the household waste
stream in order to meet the new Directive targets. The new Advisory
Committee on Packaging would be giving priority attention to this
issue and everyone affected would need to pull together to ensure the
UK was able to comply with the new Directive.
A consultation on target levels and other changes to the Regulations
will be carried out as soon as possible in 2003.
1. This press notice is being issued jointly by the Department for
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Scottish Executive, the
National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland administration.
2. The EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste 94/62/EC sets
target levels of recovery and recycling that were to be met in 2001.
The targets for the next 5-year phase are currently under
negotiation. The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging
Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended), and the parallel statutory
instruments in the devolved administrations, implement the Directive
in the UK.
3. The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste)
Regulations came into force in 1997 in GB and in 1999 in NI. These
Regulations transpose, in particular, the targets for recovery and
recycling of packaging waste in the Directive.
4. Previous target levels under the Regulations were as follows -
1998 38% recovery, 7% recycling (all materials)
1999 43% recovery, 10% recycling
2000 45% recovery, 13% recycling
2001 56% recovery, 18% recycling (NI 52% recovery, 16% recycling)
2002 59% recovery, 19% recycling
5. The Regulations place on certain businesses who satisfy two
threshold tests three main obligations:
(1) to register with the Environment Agency and parallel enforcement
agencies in the devolved administrations and provide data on the
packaging handled by the business in the previous year (regulation
(2) to take reasonable steps to recover and recycle packaging waste,
calculated as provided in Schedule 2 to the Regulations (regulation
(3) to certify that the necessary recovery and recycling has been
carried out (regulation 3(5)(b)(ii)). In addition, consumer
information obligations are placed on businesses that sell packaging
to the final user or consumer.
Regulation 3(6) provides that the recovery and recycling obligations
of producers are to enable the UK to attain the recovery and
recycling targets for member states in article 6(1) of Directive
94/62/EC - the Packaging Waste Directive.
6. Any business handling more than 50 tonnes of packaging and with
financial turnover of more than£2m will be obligated if it
performs one or more of the following activities: manufacturing raw
materials for packaging; converting materials into packaging; filling
packaging; selling packaging to the final user; importing packaging
or packaging materials into the UK.
7. The activity obligations associated with each of these activities
are: raw material manufacturing 6 per cent; converting 9 per cent;
pack/filling 37 per cent; selling 48 per cent.
8. The majority of companies who are covered by the regulations have
joined registered compliance schemes in order to discharge their
obligations to recover and recycle packaging waste.
9. The Regulations are designed to increase the recycling of
packaging waste. Broadly speaking, businesses covered by the
regulations are asked to:
i. Register with the relevant agency, provide them with data about
the packaging which goes through their business and calculate tonnage
recovery and recycling obligations.
ii. Carry out those recovery and recycling obligations.
iii. Provide evidence that they have done so.
10. The compliance scheme may also be involved in the physical
recovery of packaging waste (eg. cardboard boxes, drinks bottles and
cans, plastic containers or wooden and plastic pallets), for onward
transmission to reprocessing firms.