Packaging Waste Regulations: over twice as many companies obligated in 2000

Companies with turnovers of £2 million and purchases of 50 tonnes of packaging will be obligated to pay for recovery of packaging waste from January 2000. A series of seminars has been planned to explain how enterprises can fulfill their waste obligations.

“The packaging criteria is widening next year to include wood and things like cork and wax, so the market in packaging recovery notes is going to grow substantially,” James Blunt of the OM Environment Exchange told edie.

In addition, the EU has lowered the annual turnover level for companies that must pay for the recovery of some of their packaging waste. Thus far, only companies with turnovers of at least £5 million and that purchase a minimum of 50 tonnes of packaging have been obliged to pay for the recovery and recycling of a certain percentage of the waste generated from packaging.

In other words, approximately 4000 companies in the UK have been eligible to use the services of the OM Environment Exchange to buy packaging recovery notes (PRNs) to meet their packaging waste obligations. As of January, the number of companies who will have packaging waste obligations will at least double.

A spot market, operated by OM Environment Exchange, in PRNs has been in operation for a year and now a forward contracts market is due to be launched. “I would predict that by the end of October it will be up and running,” said Blunt, who acknowledged that the spot market has been subject to price volatility over the last year. “The PRN market is only a year old, so there’s been a lot of volatility in PRN prices because there hasn’t been a trading history.”

The forward contracts market is expected to attract the interest of operations that are obliged to purchase a large number of PRNs. “The beauty of the forward is that large companies will be able to set-up a year-long contract,” said Blunt. Forward contracts should allow companies to avoid scrambling at the last minute to ensure they meet PRN obligations and should protect them from price volatility.

“We’ve come up with a forwards contract that is quite simple,” said Blunt. Companies will agree a price for the PRNs and set multiple dates for delivery. At the outset they will pay a 10% deposit and then pay the remainder at one of the delivery dates.

In an effort to publicise the services offered by OM Environment Exchange and to introduce the forward contracts market to existing members, a series of seminars have been scheduled for October and November.

Interested companies can learn about trading in PRNs, as well as how they can minimise waste in order to reduce their overall PRN obligations. The dates for the seminars are:

  • London on 4 October
  • Southampton on 6 October
  • Bristol on 7 October
  • Cardiff on 8 October
  • Birmingham on 11 October
  • Wigan on 14 October
  • Newcastle on 15 October
  • St Neots on 26 October
  • Bradford on 28 October
  • Edinburgh on 10 November
  • Glasgow on 11 November
  • Perth on 24 November
  • Doncaster on 25 November

The seminars cost £25 for OM Environment Exchange members (membership is free) and £37.50 for non-members. At each meeting, Government-funded agencies that are charged with providing information on waste minimisation and the obligations and exceptions to packaging waste recovery legislation will be on hand to advise companies unsure of their obligations. These agencies include:

  • Solent Industry & Environment Association
  • Western Partnership for Sustainable Development
  • Wales Environment Centre
  • Groundwork Trust, Birmingham
  • Groundwork North West
  • Environmental Industries Federation, North East
  • Business Link Central & Southern Cambridgeshire
  • South Yorkshire Environmental Partnership
  • Business Link, Bradford & District
  • Lothian & Borders Business Environmental Initiative
  • Lanarkshire Environmental Business Club
  • Scottish Enterprise Tayside

For further information contact James Blunt at the OM Environment Exchange on 020 7815 3879.

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