New report explores EU approach to packaging waste

CIWM has commissioned a report to inform the debate on the future of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), by comparing the different approaches to packaging across Europe.

In its latest Presidential Report 2015/16, entitled “Packaging Waste Recovery – A European Comparison”, CIWM provides a snapshot of four different current approaches to packaging across Europe.

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is currently under the spotlight as part of the circular economy (CE) agenda. This study examines the UK’s market based approach to packaging waste recovery and considers how well the UK system operates alongside the wider aims of a more resource efficient, circular economy. 

Assessing the scope, cost and impact of schemes in Republic of Ireland, Germany and Denmark, the report highlights a number of considerations in the event of a fundamental review of the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations.

The report suggests that whilst the UK’s packaging recovery note (PRN) system is successful in delivering low-cost compliance for producers, the system is performing less well in terms of supporting the collection of household packaging waste and the development of domestic reprocessing capacity.  Ireland, Germany and Denmark are all achieving higher recycling and recovery rates than the UK but the study states that as a result of the variety of approaches, in terms of packaging waste coverage, funding mechanisms, role of local authorities and other national waste policy, it is hard to draw direct comparisons and to identify reasons.

CIWM president Professor Jim Baird said: “Whether waste and resource management policy in the future is developed within a European, UK-wide or national context, it is clear that EPR will be an important part of the mix.

“The current uncertainty as a result of the vote to leave the EU should not deter us from asking what this type of approach can, and should be seeking to, achieve and whether our existing legislation is fit for purpose. This study highlights some of the issues that need to be taken into consideration and will help to inform future thinking.”

The report concludes that there are strengths and weaknesses to each of the other systems considered, but there are features of implementation that could be considered were the UK to conduct a review. 

Trade PRNs with Clarity

Clarity has been buying and selling packaging recovery notes (PRNs) since our business started in 2002. We are now one of the largest and most experienced open market traders of PRNs. To talk to our team about buying or selling any grade of packaging recovery note (PRN), contact us on 0845 129 7177.

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