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Defra publishes consultation on changes to Packaging Regulations

The Government is looking to make changes to the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997.

It has put forward a series of proposals to enable the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) to meet directive targets in 2008.

This would mean that businesses that handle or produce large quantities of packaging waste would ensure that the UK meets key targets under European legislation to recover between 55 to 80% of all packaging by 2010.

It includes individual targets for specific materials including plastic, paper, glass, steel, wood and aluminium.

Published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the consultation proposes to amend the UK business targets for 2006-2008. This is because following changes to underlying data used to calculate the current targets in 2003, the existing business targets in the regulations for 2008 no longer achieve the directive targets in that year.

It also wants to set indicative targets for 2009 and 2010 following advice from industry as the UK expects the European Commission to announce new targets in 2007 for the five-year period following 2008.

The consultation also proposes to simplify and clarify the scheme approval. This would mean that schemes would be required to apply for approval each year from the Secretary of State and explain what happens when a scheme fails to discharge its members' obligations, for example.

It also would require compliance schemes and large producers to send their operational plans to Defra and the Scottish Executive as well as the appropriate Agency (as at present) to enable a greater degree of scrutiny, which it believes, should give the UK greater confidence that the 2008 Directive targets will be met.

These changes are planned for implementation by January 1 2006, with the consultation open until October 3 2005.

Click here to view the consultation documents

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