Packaging Compliance

Consumer Information Obligations

Recycling information for householders

Consumer Information Obligations (CIO) were introduced as part of the Packaging Waste Regulations in March 2000. They require obligated businesses to inform their customers about recycling. This covers both business-to-business sellers and business-to-consumer sellers.

Customers should be provided with the following information:

Where packaging can be taken to be recycled.

What the customer’s role is in the recovery and recycling of packaging.

The meaning of packaging labels.

The relevant chapters of the National Waste Strategy, including its plans for managing packaging waste.

Packaging today

Packaging is a big issue, for businesses, householders and for the environment. The UK produces around 10 million tonnes of packaging waste each year. And whilst it serves a critical purpose ensuring that consumers get the products they want, and in the right condition, and providing the right information about the products it protects, consumers have become increasingly hostile towards wasteful, misleading and hard-to-use packaging.

With a number of government initiatives looking into reducing unnecessary packaging, businesses are now planning for plastic-free aisles, packaging take-back and much stricter end-of-life rules on products and packaging.

Recycling in your area

To find out where there are recycling facilities near you for different materials, visit Recycle Now. This also gives clear instructions on what can and can’t be recycled and a host of other useful information.

Consumer recycling

Most households now have access to recycling collections, which enable consumers to get some of their packaging waste recycled. In addition, there are still ‘bring bank’ sites in supermarket car parks and scattered around the country in various locations accessible to the public.

A network of Civic Amenity sites also allows any member of the public to dispose of their household waste.

Further information

You can also visit these other websites where you will find information about packaging, its uses, ways of getting it recycled and the Regulations that affect it:

Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (Incpen)

Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

RECOUP – Plastics packaging

Government Response summary: DRS

This month, Defra announced that a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers will begin in England, Northern Ireland and Wales in October 2025,

15th January 2023

Learn More

England to introduce single-use plastics ban by October 2023

The Environment Secretary, Thérèse Coffey, announced the ban of a range of single-use plastic items in England from October 2023.

2nd February 2023

Learn More

EU to toughen packaging regulations

The European Commission’s radical proposal to change the rules on packaging is set to reduce packaging waste by 15% per member state per capita by 2040.

1st February 2023

Learn More

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