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New system could pave way for PRNs and PERNs

A new system to deal with packaging waste could eventually lead to the use of electronic Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) and Packaging Export Recovery Notes (PERNs).

The National Packaging Waste Database will be designed by the Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) to handle and disseminate information and to help with the packaging waste recycling and recovery regime.

Costing around £350,000 and funded largely by some of the businesses affected by the regulations, the need for companies to submit hardcopy data to regulators will be removed, paving the way for the possible use of PRNs and PERNs.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesman said: “Ultimately, the new database will help industry obtain the latest data in a more timely way, thereby helping the packaging market to operate more effectively.

“It is also expected to help combat incidences of fraud by re-processors and help identify so called free-riders- businesses who avoid meeting their obligations under the regulations.”

With producers now obliged to make better use of their packaging, regulators are expected to benefit from considerable administrative time savings, allowing them to spend more time on enforcing the regulations.

The system will be designed and implemented by a project team reporting to the ACP and on completion will be owned and operated by regulators- the Environment Agency, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service.

It is expected that the re-processor module will be in operation this year and that the registration module will be available for the 2007 registration process.

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