Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
To comply with your obligations as a packaging producer, you can calculate your own recycling and recovery requirements and register yourself with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). This is called the 'individual route' or 'direct registration'.
To calculate your recovery and recycling obligations for the coming year, you need to assess:
Make sure you include all the packaging that your business owns and handles, not just packaging waste that you produce.
You can use the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD) to calculate your recovery and recycling obligations for each category of packaging material for the year.
You must register with the NIEA or SEPA by 7 April each year. If you carry out activities in more than one part of the UK, you must register with each relevant environmental regulator. You can register online through the UK National Packaging Waste Database.
You must pay an annual registration fee to cover administration and monitoring costs.
Once you have calculated your obligation, you need evidence that an amount of packaging waste equivalent to your obligation has been recycled or recovered on your behalf. This evidence is in the form of electronic packaging waste recovery notes (ePRNs) and electronic packaging waste export recovery notes (ePERNs).
You can make sure that your packaging waste is recycled by using:
You must submit a certificate of compliance, signed by a partner, director, company secretary or member of staff with authority to sign off documents under the regulations, to the NIEA or SEPA by 31 January each year.
You must provide copies of evidence of compliance to support your certificate. You can do this online using the National Packaging Waste Database.
The evidence you will need to provide must either be:
There are separate ePRNs and ePERNs for each type of packaging waste.
Accredited reprocessors and exporters will normally charge a fee for ePRNs and ePERNs. The cost of ePRNs and ePERNs is not set at a fixed rate, but depends on the relative supply and demand for evidence.
You can find a full list of accredited reprocessors and exporters on the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD).
If your main packaging activity is selling packaging or finished goods in packaging to the final user or consumer, you must tell your customers about:
This is called the consumer information obligation.
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