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Packaging: Recycling

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the packaging recovery note system is monitored. (145803)

The Environment Agency monitors compliance of businesses obligated under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations via the packaging recovery note (PRN) system. All obligated businesses are required to provide the appropriate agency with a certificate of compliance for the previous year by 31 January, which confirms that a producer has complied with their recovery and recycling obligations. Copies of all PRNs acquired for that particular year should accompany the certificate of compliance.

The Agency may also, by notice in writing, require any person with producer responsibility obligations to maintain and supply records to the Agency within a specified time.

The Agency is required to provide a report at the end of each year, in respect of the following calendar year, setting out its proposed monitoring plan including in relation to monitoring it is required to carry out (under Regulation 31). This will include an indication of the minimum number of businesses which it proposes to monitor in the course of that year.

The recently established National Packaging Waste Database has been developed to simplify data submission under the regulations, aid national planning and assist the enforcement agencies to identify abuses and non-compliance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason the packaging recovery note system is only applicable to companies that exceed an annual turnover of £2 million and whose packaging handling exceeds 50 tonnes per year. (145804)

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations oblige businesses in the packaging chain which have an annual turnover of more than £2 million, and which handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year, to recover and recycle a specified amount of packaging waste. This amount is determined, in part, by the amount of packaging they handle. The packaging recovery note (PRN) system was established as the mechanism for businesses to provide evidence of compliance with these regulations.

Businesses with a lower annual turnover, or handling a lower tonnage of packaging, were excluded from the obligation in order to lessen the regulatory burden on small businesses.