Packaging Obligations

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations were introduced in 1997 with the aim of reducing the amount of packaging waste ending up in landfill.

Who is affected?

Your business has a packaging obligation if ALL of the following points apply:

  • Its annual UK turnover exceeds £2 million, AND

  • It performs a packaging activity on any of the packaging handled, AND

  • It owns the packaging or packaging materials handled, AND

  • It handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging and/or packaging materials

Use our quick assessment tool to find out whether or not your business is obligated under the Packaging Waste Regulations, or call one of our technical advisors on 03450 682 572.

Request an information pack

Your business could be affected by other producer responsibility legislation. Find out more here.

Other things you should be aware of:

  • Your organisation can be obligated if it is part of a group that collectively exceeds the thresholds outlined above, even if it doesn’t meet the thresholds on its own
  • Northern Ireland has its own Packaging Waste Regulations, which means that organisations with operations in Northern Ireland will need to register these separately with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency

What do you need to do?

Obligated organisations must:

  • register with the appropriate environment agency. This can be done either directly with the environment agency or organisations can join Valpak
  • complete an annual data submission detailing the amount of packaging handled
  • calculate their obligation i.e. how much packaging waste they must pay towards getting recycled, use our Packaging Obligation Calculator
  • meet obligation by procuring recycling evidence notes known as PRNs (packaging waste recovery notes)
  • provide recycling information to consumers if packaging is supplied to end users
    (Consumer Information Obligations)

How Valpak can help

We take on the legal responsibility for your organisation's compliance with the Packaging Waste Regulations. We calculate the obligation and purchase recycling evidence (PRNs) on your organisation's behalf. We will also register your organisation with the appropriate environment agency.

Other Valpak membership benefits include:

  • access to fully trained experts who can be contacted for help and advice
  • access to a unique online data submission system offering interactive guidance
  • free regional training workshops
  • free compliance reviews
  • industry news e-bulletins
  • access to a dedicated Member Area of the website
  • Consumer Information Obligations (CIOs) met on your behalf
  • free use of the Green Dot symbol
  • a certificate of compliance
  • policy input and strategic advice to Government and Devolved Administrations  

Have you found gathering and submitting data to be a demanding and time consuming process? Our Data Management services can be tailored to take away the burden of the submission process. We would be more than happy to help.

How much will compliance cost?

There are three sets of fees that your organisation will need to pay in order to become compliant with the regulations:

  1. Agency fees – everyone has to pay a set environment agency registration fee each year
  2. Annual Membership fee – this covers our administration costs of checking and verifying data
  3. PRN fees – this is the cost of procuring recycling evidence notes needed to meet the organisation's obligation

If you would like more details about how we can assist with your business's compliance or you would like a compliance cost forecast, please contact one of our dedicated technical advisors on 03450 682 572 or complete our online enquiry form.

Scheme Reference Numbers:
Environment Agency: ES19971043
SEPA: SS081997102
NIEA: NPWD109339