Valpak passes the million-mark milestone through new Product Data Hub reporting

Valpak has passed a major milestone, as more than one million packaging weight items have been logged through the company’s new Product Data Hub

Reconomy Group company Valpak, the UK’s largest provider of environmental compliance, has passed a major milestone, as more than one million packaging weight items have been logged through the company’s new Product Data Hub.


Passing the million-mark milestone in the Valpak Product Data Hub is a huge marker of progress,” said Steve Gough, CEO, Valpak. “As we move towards the implementation of the Plastic Packaging Tax and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging, the need for robust data is becoming more critical. The Product Data Hub was designed to remove errors and simplify the recording process and it is clearly working – the level of engagement we are seeing from suppliers is incredible.”

The Product Data Hub is an online system designed to help packaging producers to comply with existing regulations and to prepare for upcoming legislation. It logs key information from suppliers, which is then used for compliance reporting. The hub is pre-populated with packaging weights from Valpak’s EPIC (Environmental Product Information Centre) database, the largest in the UK, and also incorporates checks similar to those used in online banking to increase accuracy and convenience for customers. It was fully launched as the primary weights collection method for suppliers in 2021.

The arrival of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging in 2024 means UK business costs are expected to rise from £350 million to £2.7 billion per year. Modulated fees – which charge a higher rate for packaging products which are hard to recycle – are likely to form a major part of the legislation. Supply chain data is used both for meeting compliance requirements, and as a basis for product design changes.

The Valpak EPIC database currently holds over 33 million stock-keeping units (SKUs) and shows the complexity of common packaging items. For example, the range of multipacks of milkshakes sold in the UK include 13 different plastic elements, while lipstick packaging ranges from aluminium and steel, to glass, paper and up to 12 types of plastic. Of the 176 packaging materials listed for lipstick in EPIC, only six are widely recycled.

Gough added: “Product Data Hub submissions give a clear picture of the types of packaging on the market; they show that over a third of data submitted to Valpak is plastic. Under new UK legislation, plastic is set to come under the spotlight and entries into the hub reinforce the message that plastic packaging information needs to be recorded accurately.”

Because the Product Data Hub is a live system, suppliers can access it whenever they need to input new data or update packaging changes,” said Olivia Candy, EPIC Manager, Valpak. “Front-end validation captures any errors immediately, as data is being inputted, leading to a much higher rate of data automatically going through to the database. It works differently from the traditional template system and gives suppliers greater confidence in the accuracy of their data input. The tabs are pre-populated with data previously provided, saving suppliers’ time. Already in 2021, we were able to contact 184 per cent more suppliers than in 2020. We are looking forward to a full year of operation in 2022, with further developments in the pipeline.”