The UK Government assembled a group of industry representatives to form the Packaging Responsibility Group (PRG). The PRG was tasked with assessing the impact of the forthcoming Packaging Waste Regulations, the necessary steps that needed to be taken and how the UK should proceed. Though the group could paint a vivid picture of the scale and complexity of the task, it failed to reach an agreement on the way forward and who should pay. There were essentially two camps, a single point approach and a multi point option.
The European Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste was introduced in 1994. The directive put obligations on member countries to recover and recycle 50-65% of packaging waste by 2001.
The UK Government consulted with industry over the next two years to allow them time to put forward an agreed proposal on the best way to implement the directive. Finally, a consensus emerged. This was the desire for shared producer responsibility, where all companies in the packaging chain shared the cost of compliance. The rest of Europe took a different approach by taxing, in the main, a single point in the packaging chain (i.e. manufacturers or packer / fillers). PRG made three important recommendations:
- a shared solution should be proposed
- legislation should underpin this to avoid free riding
- a compliance scheme should be set up allowing companies to have their obligations under this legislation discharged for them. Companies not wishing to join the scheme had the option of taking an individual route to fulfil their obligations
Following these proposals, the Valpak Working Representative Advisory Group (V-WRAG) was formed. From this group, the concept of the Valpak Packaging Compliance Scheme emerged. It would be a collaborative industry body through which businesses would work together to achieve the recovery and recycling of packaging waste. It would take the pressure away from businesses that would find it difficult and time consuming to comply with any legislation on an individual basis. It was later decided that Valpak should not be the only compliance scheme and competitive schemes should be allowed to form.
06 March 1997 new UK Packaging Waste Regulations.
Valpak becomes first Producer Compliance Scheme for packaging.
Organisations affected by the Packaging Waste Regulations register.
Rt Hon John Gummer MP is appointed as Valpak's Non-executive Chairman.
First year of packaging waste obligations for affected Great Britain organisations.
Northern Ireland Packaging Waste Obligations come into force.
recycle-more.co.uk is launched to offset Valpak packaging 'seller' members' Consumer Information Obligations (CIO), which require sellers to inform members of the public about recycling. Valpak saw the website as the ideal way for its members to fulfil these obligations.
Valpak Recycling, a subsidiary of Valpak, is established to specialise in the management and recycling of waste.
Packaging Waste Regulations turnover threshold falls to £2 million.
Wood becomes obligated packaging under the Packaging Waste Regulations.
Valpak further extends its activities by starting up its recycle-more-glass service, collecting mixed glass for recycling, free of charge from pubs, clubs, restaurants and bars.
Valpak shifts the focus of its operations away from Savannah House in London to a new base in Warwickshire. This decision was reached after consideration of the costs involved in renting a prime location London office, and with a view to making the company more accessible to its nationwide membership. Montague House in Stratford-upon-Avon was officially opened in April.
Valpak sells its groundbreaking commercial glass collection business, recycle-more-glass, to the UK's largest commercial and domestic glass collector and processor Berryman. The scheme collects 60,000 tonnes of glass a year, the equivalent to nearly 200 million bottles and jars.
Valpak rescape™ recycling banks introduced for high profile locations.
Valpak Data Management Services are established to offer a total managed packaging data service helping members to collate and compile their packaging waste data with a minimum amount of effort.
Valpak Recycling opens a representative office in China. The office, which is located in the major Northern port town of Tianjin close to Beijing, will be staffed by two people, who will liaise with Chinese reprocessors, government and regulators. In 2004, Valpak Recycling handled over 120,000 tonnes of material.
The first PackFlow 2008 research project findings are announced to cement Valpak's position as the expert on Producer Responsibility issues.
Valpak strengthened its range of compliance and recycling solutions with the purchase of the Waste Management Group (WMG) Material Recycling Facility (MRF) in Preston, which has been integrated into the current Valpak Recycling operation. Our Preston facility is one of the UK's leading plastic sorting and grading sites and draws material from across the whole of the UK.
02 January - UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations comes into force.
Valpak approved as operator of WEEE Producer Compliance Scheme.
Valpak, in partnership with Wincanton, launch the "WEEE recycle-more" campaign in Glasgow. This campaign sees an uplift over 150% in material to the Glasgow Designated Collection Facilities (DCFs).
Valpak sponsor the Royal College of Art 'Design for a Better Environment' award.
Valpak is involved in the pioneering Glasgow Recycles partnership project which set out to tackle social, environmental and economic issues in the city, introducing recycling banks to city centre litter hotspots, using a team of local unemployed people to raise awareness.
Valpak collaborate with INCPEN to produce a series of packaging pyramids to show the total amounts of packaging used per year on 73 different types of products that we buy on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. These pyramids were produced as a result of increasing consumer concerns about excessive packaging.
05 May - UK Waste Batteries Regulations come into force.
March - Valpak launches new UK Green Dot Code of Practice following concerns in the press about consumer perception of this logo.
Valpak approved as operator of Batteries Producer Compliance Scheme.
Valpak's Stratford-upon-Avon head office gains ISO 14001 accreditation and becomes one of approximately only 10,000 other companies to obtain this in the UK.
April - UK CRC Regulations come into force.
Valpak set up CRC Compliance Service.
Valpak Recycling (North West) launch new website to reinforce presence in the Preston area.
Valpak obtains Carbon Neutrality Standard, PAS 2060, to demonstrate to customers that we are managing our significant impacts. In addition, a comprehensive service was set up which helps organisations through all of the critical stages for the purchase of carbon offset allowances.
Valpak sets up an International Compliance Service to help organisations that have an overseas presence to comply with each respective countries unique environmental laws.
Valpak sets up a civil sanctions service to help organisations, who are under threat of potential Environment Agency prosecution for offences under the Packaging Waste Regulations, through the new civil sanctions regime.
Valpak helps organisations to comply with environmental legislation in over 20 countries.
Valpak launches a series of free regional forums to help organisations keep up to date with ever changing environmental legislation and industry developments.
Valpak is appointed as PAS 141 Scheme Administrator by BIS.