Monitoring Environmental Performance
Level 5
Appendix 5
Waste Disposal Legislation

The impacts of the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997

Your organisation is obligated under the regulations if you are involved in the packaging chain and satisfy two threshold tests: one based on total turnover and the other on the quantity of obligated packaging that you handle.

The regulations apply to those companies that perform one or more of the following activities in the packaging chain through which packaging materials generally pass:

  • Manufacture of packaging raw materials

  • Converting

  • Packing/filling

  • Selling

  • Importing

Own the packaging on which these activities are carried out;

  • Supply to another stage in the packaging chain or to the final user, and

  • Exceed £5 million turnover (falling to £1 million in 2000) and handle more than 50 tonnes obligated packaging in a year (a figure which is also set to fall).

A company is not obligated under the regulations if:

  • It does not own the packaging

  • It has not made the packaging or supplied it to anyone else, and it simply becomes waste on the organisation's own premises

  • It qualifies for the small business exemption

A document to help calculate a company's packaging waste is in existence - the Ready Reckoner - a packaging catalogue to support the producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997, issued by the department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) in July 1997.

There is a comparatively large amount of legislation relating to the environmental impacts of waste, all of which is beyond the scope of this particular unit. It is therefore suggested that you endeavour to undertake some further reading around this subject.


Read the DETR's consultation paper: Review of the Packaging Regulations