There will be no change either to the operation of waste management
controls or to the current accreditation policy for packaging waste
reprocessors until the European Court has reached a judgement on the
The judicial review of a decision of the Environment Agency not to
accredit Mayer Parry Recycling Limited as a reprocessor for the
purposes of the packaging Regulations was heard before Mr Justice
Collins on 7/8 September. The secretary of state for the
environment, transport and the regions intervened in the proceedings.
At the hearing, Mr Justice Collins decided to adjourn the case so it
could be referred to the European Court of Justice. However, it might
take around 18-24 months for the European Court to hand down its
Mr Mullin said:
'This case raises important issues which can only be resolved with
the assistance of a ruling by the European Court of Justice.
'We want to avoid uncertainty for businesses affected by either waste
management controls or the packaging Regulations and to ensure
clarity about the arrangements that will apply in the interim period.
Until the matter is resolved by the Court, therefore, there will be
no change to either the operation of waste management controls or to
the current policy on the accreditation of packaging waste
Mayer Parry Recycling Ltd. applied for a judicial review of a decision by the Environment Agency not to accredit it as a reprocessor for the
purposes of the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste)
Regulations 1997 (as amended). The secretary of state for the
environment, transport and the regions intervened in the case, and it
was heard on 7/8 September before Mr Justice Collins.
Under the EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste 94/62/EC,
member states must meet certain recovery and recycling targets by
2001. The Directive includes definitions of 'recovery' and
The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations
1997 came into force in 1997 and transpose certain elements of the
Packaging Waste Directive. The Regulations place obligations on
certain businesses (above the threshold levels of£2m turnover
and 50 tonnes of packaging handled) to recover and recycle specific
tonnages of packaging waste based on the amount of packaging handled
and the position of the business in the packaging chain (for example,
manufacturer or retailer).
The Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 transpose the
definition of waste in Article 1(a) of the Waste Framework Directive
(75/442/EEC) as amended. The Judicial Review follows declarations
made by the High Court on 18 December 1998 (Mayer Parry Recycling
Ltd. v The Environment Agency (CH 1997 M 2722) about scrap metal and
the definition of waste under the Framework Directive.