The European Union (Packaging) Regulations 2014 place a legal responsibility on businesses and companies to ensure packaging waste does not go to landfill but is instead made available for recycling. The overall aim of the regulations is to promote the reduction, reuse and recycling of packaging waste.
The Regulations apply to all businesses that handle specified packaging in whatever form it arises in the course of their business. Therefore manufacturers, importers, businesses trading in packaged goods such as shops, pubs and restaurants are all obliged to recycle their packaging waste.
Specified Packaging – ‘waste aluminium, fibreboard, glass, paper, plastic sheeting, steel and wood’
The Regulations impose obligations on all ‘producers’ of packaging, however there is a differentiation made between a ‘producer’ and a ‘major producer’. The first step for any business in establishing their obligations is to determine if they are a ‘producer’ or ‘major producer’.
Producer – ‘a person who, for the purpose of trade or otherwise in the course of business, sells or otherwise supplies to other persons packaging material, packaging or packaged products’
Major Producer – is a ‘producer’ as defined above but with the addition ‘where the aggregate weight of packaging material and packaging supplied by such major producer exceeds or may be expected to exceed 10 tonnes in a calendar year and has an annual turnover of more than €1 million’
Turnover – ‘in relation to any producer, means the amounts derived from the provision (including exports) of goods and services falling within the producer’s ordinary activities after deduction of trade discounts and VAT’
As a major producer, if you exceed 10 tonnes annually which equates to approximately 200kg of packaging a week, you have specific obligations.
Obligations on all Producers
- Segregate the specified waste packaging types from other waste.
- Store segregated specified wastes so that they do not become wet, mixed with other wastes or contaminated.
- Arrange for the collection of these segregated materials by a permitted collector OR arrange for the supplier of the packaging to take it back.
- Ensure the collector is permitted and the final destination of the waste is a recycling facility.
- Provide weights of the packaging materials supplied to trade customers, if requested.
- Facilitate inspections of your premises by Laois County Council.
Obligations on Main Producers
In order to meet the main obligations under the Regulations, major producers have to participate in an approved recovery scheme (registration with Repak)
Packaging sold and consumed on a producers premises also comes within the scope of the Regulations. Bottles sold and consumed in pubs, restaurants, clubs and hotels are subject to the requirements of the Regulations. As pubs and restaurants now fall under the scope of the Regulations, they must be able to estimate the weight of packaging consumed on the premises.
Please note it is an offence for a producer to dispose of such packaging waste without first making it available for recovery.
Laois County Council, Environment Section Tel: (057)-8674322
European Union (Packaging) Regulations 2014
European Union (Packaging) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
Note: This page is a guide only. It does not purport to provide, and should not be relied upon as, a legal interpretation of the Regulations. Laois County Council advises you to read the Regulations in full.