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Packaging Compliance: Tips to making more efficient data calculations

Oli Wolfe
Mar 02, 2021

 

Collecting, collating, and submitting data to ensure your business is complying with the Packaging Waste Regulations can be a daunting and complex task, especially if you don’t have years of knowledge and experience in this area.

I have put together some tips on how to gather the necessary information, which can be used to calculate your business’s packaging data submission.

Get to grips with the packaging flow

The Packaging Data Form contains four tables, two of which require quantities of packaging to be declared based on whether the material was imported into the UK or exported out of the UK. To ensure data accuracy, create a record of which packaging/packaged products were imported from overseas into the UK, as well as what was subsequently exported. Doing this will help you to understand the flow of packaging handled by your business, which will make form completion easier.

Familiarise yourself with packaging weights

I know that many of Valpak’s compliance customers have other responsibilities on top of dealing with packaging compliance. Having knowledge of packaging weights and an awareness of what packaging is obligated under the Regulations will make the form completion process quicker and easier and will help you to verify the accuracy of your submission.

Being able to spot anomalies and outliers in your data is important, as inaccuracies will affect your compliance costs (You could over or under obligate your business). To do this, you need to have an idea of how much certain packaging types/materials/components weigh. Finding out the weights for just top selling items (rather than the entire packaging portfolio) will make a significant difference. If you are new to the world of packaging compliance, I suggest weighing the packaging as a starting point.

Examples of what is classified as obligated packaging under the current Regulations, can be found in the Government’s ‘Agreed positions and technical interpretations’ document.

Start engaging with your suppliers

Some packaging weights will need to be sourced from your suppliers. I suggest creating and maintaining a log of contact information to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible.

Packaging Legislation Reforms are being introduced over the next three years and data requirements will become even more complex! Supplier engagement will be key to sourcing accurate data and to meeting the criteria under new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation. It is likely that you will be required to gather data on a more granular level (than current reporting requires), which will be essential to mitigate costs and ensure full legal compliance.

I urge you to be prepared! Start engaging with your suppliers now, as you need to discuss how you can collect the required information from them. Valpak is offering Consulting Sessions where we will review your business’s existing data capture methods to ensure they meet future legislation requirements. Email data.insights@valpak.co.uk if you would like further information or to book a session.

Keep on top of packaging changes

In recent years, consumers have been calling for producers and brand owners to think about the environmental impact of the packaging they are placing on the market, meaning some packaging compositions and designs are frequently modified. It is essential that you keep on top of any changes to packaging your business handles and to make sure these changes are reflected in your submission. Doing so could help to reduce your compliance bill and will ensure that your declaration is as accurate as possible.

Valpak can help

Valpak assists businesses that find the packaging data submission process to be too complex or time-consuming. Our customer base is varied, from small businesses to larger companies with complex supply chains. Valpak’s Data Insights team can take full ownership of your packaging data submission and will ensure that your business is compliant with the Packaging Waste Regulations. Valpak also offer a tailored service, where you can outsource as much or as little of the work to us to suit your business’s requirements.

We make the data submission process as simple as possible for our customers, whilst ensuring data accuracy, and will provide a complete audit trail of your submissions – using an environment agency approved methodology.

Our Data Management Services are underpinned by our dynamic custom built software and weights database (EPIC), the largest in the UK, holding over 33 million SKUs with unique packaging metrics.

To find out more about our outsourced Data Insights Service, which could reduce your compliance costs by at least 30%, visit our webpage, or email oliver.wolfe@valpak.co.uk

 

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