Database will help tidy up problem-plagued packaging

The latest chapter in the saga of governmental attempts to keep track of packaging waste notes, proposals have been put forward to set up a computerised database.

Consultation on the online data system was opened this week by Defra, the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Executive.

A proposed National Packaging Waste Database and electronic Packaging Waste Recovery Notes (PRNs) and Packaging Waste Export Recovery Notes (PERNs) would:

  • Speed up data collection, enabling reprocessors and exporters to report electronically and allow data to be released to industry more quickly;

  • Enable producers/schemes to submit registration applications electronically;

  • Enable reprocessors and exporters to issue PRNs and PERNs electronically.

    According to Defra the packaging regulations have increased packaging waste recycling from around 27% in 1997 to more than 54% in 2005 significantly reducing the amount of packaging waste going to landfill, but well under the frequently-publicised tripling of overall recycling rates since Labour came to power.

    The consultation also contains a number of proposed technical changes to the current regulations.

    The consultation document can be found on the Defra website.

    The deadline for comments is Friday 17 November 2006.

    Packaging notes have been a prickly subject in recent years, with a series of investigations uncovering mis-administration and even cases of fraudulent issuing.

    Sam Bond

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