Packaging regulations

Compliance with Packaging Regulations Increased
Date released: Jun 30 2005

Compliance with Packaging Regulations has increased in the last twelve months, said Dara Lynott, EPA Director, speaking at the REPAK Members conference today. These Regulations oblige business and commercial organisations that place packaging on the market to aid its recovery and recycling. The EPA’s Enforcement Network has helped local authorities to identify and take action against non compliant major producers of packaging waste.

Over 6,034 packaging inspections were carried out in 2004, by over 60 enforcement officers from 34 local authorities. Enforcement officers ensure that businesses are meeting their producer responsibilities.

Dara Lynott, said “The increased compliance with the requirements for recovery of packaging represents a positive step towards meeting the recovery targets set in the Packaging Directive. I am pleased that this has resulted from a focussed campaign by the Enforcement Network.

The key to the success of the campaign has been good intelligence on suspected non-compliers,” he said. “This information continues to be compiled by the Enforcement Network from a variety of sources including commercially available directories of businesses, local authority internal sources and complaints from compliant organisations in relation to their non-compliant competitors.”

229 major producers were identified by local authorities in 2004. Of these, 106 are now REPAK members; 52 have advised that they are joining REPAK; 19 have registered as Self Compliers; 17 have advised that they are registering as Self Compliers and 16 are to be brought into compliance with the Regulations.

Note to the Editor
Since August 2004 the EPA’s Office of Environmental Enforcement has been working with local authorities, through its National Enforcement Network, to improve the overall level of compliance with the Packaging Waste Regulations.

In order to achieve a consistently high level of compliance the Enforcement Network has produced guidance on the identification of major producers and the taking of enforcement action up to and including prosecutions against non-compliant operations.

Currently the Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations 2003, as amended by the Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations 2004 are in force. The regulations allow for the control of producers of packaging waste with a view to achieving EU targets for the recovery of packaging waste. They place a responsibility on all business placing packaging on the market including manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, and retailers to segregate specified waste materials arising on their premises and to have this waste collected by authorised waste operators for recycling.

Major producers, who place more than 25 tonnes of packaging on the Irish market and have a turnover of €1 million, have additional obligations. These require the major producer to either join a compliance scheme (of which there is only one in Ireland, REPAK) or register for self-compliance with the local authority. Self-compliers are required to accept or collect back packaging waste, provide facilities for the take-back of packaging waste, post signage and publish notices in local papers to this effect.