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Potential problems for symbol groups with new packaging regs warns compliance solutions group

Environmental compliance solutions group DHL has said the new packaging regulations - making symbol groups such as Spar and Budgens pay for packaging waste generated through their outlets - are potentially problematic.

Interim guidance released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) last month confirmed that packaging obligations have now been extended to include pub companies and users of leased packaging. This should help the Government meet its packaging recovery and recycling targets by 2008.

DHL general manager Paul James said: “Clearly these new regulations mean that many symbol groups are now facing additional burdens to collect data relating to outlets that were previously exempt from the regulations.”

The new regulations mean that any business that licenses another, e.g. a symbol group with agreements with a third party retail outlet, is obligated for the packaging it contributes to the waste stream via these outlets.

James said the extra cost of the regulations to symbol groups is unknown, but difficulties could arise in collecting data from small retail outlets as they may not have the necessary systems in place to capture and calculate the weight of the packaging.

As the guidelines are effective immediately, James warns that there is not much time for data gathering – with some compliance schemes requiring the data well ahead of the April 7 deadline.

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