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Method in the madness of packaging data submission complexities

Josela Renardson
Mar 01, 2016

Everyone deals with data at some point or another whether booking a holiday, buying a car or groceries, or dealing with day to day finances. For the simpler things, we tend to remember the most efficient processes, meaning that our ability to use and process the data becomes second nature. For more complicated processes that many of us don’t do on a regular basis, such as buying a house or a car, we usually need the support of experts to help us to get through the complexities.

I have worked with companies who make annual data submissions under the Packaging Waste Regulations for nearly ten years, and during this time I have noticed that the complexities of the process are often undocumented, which makes it harder for the person responsible to make the submission each year. I have often found that it is especially difficult for those customers who are new to their role and have suddenly found themselves to be responsible for submitting their business’s packaging data (thrown the packaging compliance hot potato).

Six things that should be included in your methodology

Above all tips that I would give someone who is about to make a submission, I would stress the importance of maintaining a methodology and suggest that methodologies should cover these areas as a minimum:

    1. An outline of your company structure so that you understand the business that you are submitting data on behalf of
    2. The flow of packaging within the business. By flow I mean where packaging comes from and where it ends up
    3. The type(s) of data that can be obtained within the business and what it is used for. It would help to note down where you can get the packaging data from, for example sales purchase data or bill of materials
    4. Any assumptions that you have had to make so that you can remind yourself of these each year
    5. Changes that may have resulted in a difference to your submission, such as new product lines or increased sales
    6. Actions which will help to improve your next data submission

Why is a methodology so important?

Methodology documents can help to make your data submissions consistent and will help to alleviate the burden of the complexities. They will also provide a trail for staff that may have to take on the responsibility of the business’s data submission in the future.

Do you require further assistance?

For those that require further assistance with the packaging data submission process, Valpak offer members free workshops which aim to educate, remind and inform customers of what they need to do and why they need to do it. We also review members’ submissions to give them peace of mind that they are doing the right thing and if this is not the case we will make actionable recommendations.

Furthermore, for those that need more help with some or all complexities of the packaging waste data submission, Valpak offer a bespoke Data Management Services. Contact us today for further information.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this weblog represent those of the individual authors and not those of Valpak Limited or any other organisation.