Producer responsibility

Clarity’s packaging compliance scheme operates for the purpose of the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) 2007. These regulations are in place to ensure that businesses are responsible for the recovery and recycling of packaging waste in the UK. They place obligations on businesses to:

  1. Register with the EA (either directly or through a compliance scheme such as Clarity Packaging Compliance;
  2. Recover and recycle specific tonnages of packaging waste each year;
  3. Certify that this has been done.

Some businesses may also need to provide information to consumers. (Clarity members - see Consumer Information Section in the members’ only area). Compliance schemes such as ours will take on your legal liabilities and carry out your recovery and recycling obligations for you. You should also be considering whether you can minimise the amount of packaging you use and you can obtain advice on this from us.

These obligations relate to the total amount of packaging that your business handles, not the amount of packaging waste you produce.

Recyclable materials and recycling targets

In March 2012, new packaging targets for 2013 to 2017 were announced to ensure that the UK continues to meet EU Directive targets over the next 5 years.


Material 2012 (%) 2013 (%) 2014 (%) 2015 (%) 2016 (%) 2017 (%)
Paper/Card 69.5 69.5 69.5 69.5 69.5 69.5
Glass 81 81 81 81 81 81
Aluminium 40 43 46 49 52 55
Steel 71 72 73 74 75 76
Plastic 32 37 42 47 52 57
Wood 22 22 22 22 22 22
Total Recovery 74 75 76 77 78 79
Of Which Recycling 68.1 69 69.9 70.8 71.8 72.7

In 2013 split targets for glass were introduced. The targets for individual businesses with an obligation in glass are:


  2013 (%) 2014 (%) 2015 (%) 2016 (%) 2017 (%)
Proportion of glass that must come from remelt 63 63 63 64 64

Companies are obligated under the Regulations where:

  • They are a UK company with
  • An annual turnover above £2 million and
  • Handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging per calendar year

These companies are required to purchase evidence to meet their Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Obligation from accredited recyclers. Their obligation is a proportion of the packaging that they handle in one year. This will mean calculating the tonnage of packaging handled in the previous year by material and calculating the obligation, which is related to the stage in the packaging chain.

Producer functions and their % responsibility

  • Manufacturer - a person who manufactures raw materials for packaging. 6%.
  • Converter - a person who uses/modifies packaging materials in the production or formation of packaging. 9%.
  • Packer/Filler - a person who puts goods or products into packaging. 37%.
  • Importer - a person who imports packaging or packaging materials into the UK. They have a rolled up obligation depending on the activities that took place before import.
  • Seller - a person who supplies packaging to the end user of that packaging. 48%.
  • Service Provider - a person who supplies reusable packaging to a user of that packaging where the supply is made by hiring out or lending the packaging 85%.

If the business belongs to a group of companies, these requirements apply to the total amount of packaging handled by the group and the group's total annual turnover.

Related pages

Clarity packaging compliance
Packaging regulations
Net Regs website

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