B7.3.1.2 Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste)


Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 [SI No. 871], as amended

These apply to a business that handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year and has a turnover of more than £2 million.

If your 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.

Your business is classed as handling packaging if you, or someone acting on your behalf:

  • Manufacture the raw materials used to make packaging.
  • Convert raw materials into packaging.
  • Fill packaging (putting goods or products into packaging).
  • Sell packaged goods to the end user.
  • Lease or hire out packaging, such as pallets.
  • Operate a franchise or other licensed business, including pubs.
  • Import packaging, packaging materials or packaged goods into the UK.
  • Bring transit packaging into the UK that will end up as waste in the UK.


If your business reuses packaging that is already in circulation, you do not need to count this towards the total amount of packaging you handle. This only applies if it is in its original form and it is being used for the same purpose that it was made for.

If the Producer Responsibility Obligations apply to your business you must:

  • Register with your environmental regulator, either directly or through a producer compliance scheme.
  • Pay for the recovery and recycling of certain amounts of packaging waste.
  • Provide evidence to your environmental regulator, using electronic packaging recovery notes (ePRNs) and packaging export recovery notes (ePERNs).


ePRNs are issued electronically by accredited reprocessors who accept packaging waste and issue a note stating how much packaging waste they have recovered or recycled.

ePERNs are issued electronically by accredited exporters when packaging waste is exported to approved reprocessors outside of the UK.

If your main packaging activity is selling packaging or packaged goods you must provide information to your customers about:

  • Reusing, recovering and recycling packaging.
  • The collection facilities available to them.


Registered Packaging Compliance Schemes

If you join a registered packaging compliance scheme you do not have to meet your obligations yourself. The scheme takes on your business’ recovery and recycling obligations.

You can find a compliance scheme through the National Packaging Waste Database (full details are available on the Environment Agency website). This database is UK-wide. Once you have registered, you must:

  • Supply the scheme with relevant information (i.e. the amount of packaging you handle).
  • Pay a fee (this normally includes a reduced registration fee that the scheme pays to your environmental regulator on your behalf).