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New website launches to help companies meet packaging regulations

A new and improved website that will help companies meet to packaging recycling regulations and tackle fraud has been launched today, 1 February 2007, by the Environment Agency.

Keith Stonell, Project Executive at the Environment Agency, said: “Certain companies in the UK are required under EU law to recover and recycle a proportion of the packaging waste they produce.

“The new National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD) website, www.npwd.org.uk, will help companies meet the EU target to recover and recycle 60% of packaging waste generated in the UK by 2008.

“The website simplifies the submission of data, aids national planning and allows Defra and the UK regulators including ourselves to closely monitor the progress. It also help us to identify potential fraud and 'free riding', where companies avoid meeting their obligations.”

Under the Producer Responsibility (Packaging) Regulations, any company involved in the packaging supply chain that is larger than £2million turnover and which handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year is obligated to recover and recycle a set level of its packaging waste.

These companies prove they have met their target by obtaining packaging waste recovery notes (PRNs) or their export equivalent (PERNs). These recovery notes represent a set amount of packaging waste recycled. Companies can obtain the notes either by recycling the waste themselves or by purchasing them from other companies who may have exceeded their target.

Keith Stonell added: “Under the old system, the recovery notes were paper-based and so the system was open to potential abuse and fraud. On the new website, electronic Packaging waste Recovery Notes (ePRNs or ePERNs) will be introduced.

“By moving the PRNs and PERNs online, we will be able to track and view the data at the touch of a button. This will also us to monitor and follow up any discrepancies with greater speed and efficiency.”

Other new features include:

Simplified online data submission
Online registration for new companies Facility to search previously submitted data. Speedier national data publication as quarterly reports are now automatically generated Reduced paperwork as more administrative tasks can be now done online The new website was funded and developed by a partnership between the industry and the three UK regulators, the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service. The industry body that advises the Minister on issues relating to packaging waste, the Advisory Committee on Packaging, initiated the development of the new system.

The partnership launched a basic website in 1 April 2006, which allowed for the submission of quarterly returns and production of Defra reports. This has been redeveloped and enhanced over the last ten months and has now been handed over to the Environment Agency, which will operate the system and provide further improvements.

For further information on the National Packaging Waste Database visit www.npwd.org.uk

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