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Valpak's Blog brings to you thought provoking articles, from key members of staff, on a wide range of environmental topics.

Packaging weights data: What to and what not to collect

Josela Renardson
Jan 12, 2017

The Packaging Waste Regulations operate a shared producer responsibility system, which is why you may need to consider all packaging layers in your reporting. This can be a daunting task, especially if you have thousands of products and don’t have direct access to the packaging your products are packaged in.

Understand how and why your company is obligated!

I have worked on various data sets over the past decade and have found that there is definitely an art to packaging weights data collection. In most of my blogs about data calculation or collection I mention the importance of understanding how and why you are obligated under the regulations, and in this case again I am asking you to ensure that you have this in mind. Having this understanding will help you to build a plan as to what data you need to collect.

Different packaging activities determine what packaging layers (primary, secondary, tertiary and transit) you need to collect. For example, someone that retails UK goods directly to the consumer may only need to record primary packaging, while someone who wholesales UK goods may only need to record secondary packaging. If you’re unsure what packaging layer(s) you should be collecting and reporting on please do not hesitate to contact our team for further guidance.

You could also take a look at our packaging weights template to help get you started.

Group similar packaged products

It is often the case that 80% of a business’s obligation is on 20% of its product lines; therefore, it would make sense to prioritise the top 20%. However, you will need to consider all packaging types and the materials that make up the packaging that you handle. You can do this by grouping your products into similar packaging groups, which ensures that you have a weight for the top item within that group.

Continuous improvement

You should aim to increase your weights coverage year on year and capture all packaging changes. A material change could have a big impact, as Packaging Waste Recovery Notes (PRNs) for different packaging types have different costs associated with them, which will therefore have an effect on your compliance bill.

Help is always available

If you’re not quite sure exactly what information you need to source or where to start, I highly recommend that you attend one of our packaging events to find out more. Alternatively, speak to our Data Management Team for help on how to get started.

We will be posting more data submission tips over the next few months, so follow @valpak_ltd on Twitter or Valpak Limited on LinkedIn for updates.

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