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PRN reform: industry meetings underway

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Representatives from across the waste and packaging sectors are taking part in a series of meetings during the next fortnight as part of the Government’s strategy on packaging, particularly plastics.

Six themed workshops will be followed by a summit in April, at which a set of recommendations will be adopted covering the current packaging recovery note (PRN) system, increased recycling targets for plastic packaging and stronger political support to help local authorities deliver greater consistency in household collections.

The scope of the the workshops was set out in a letter to stakeholders sent on 9 February by WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover.

Environment secretary Michael Gove had asked Gover and Paul Vanston, chief executive of the packaging industry council Incpen, to review policies to improve how the UK deals with packaging. The work is supported by Defra’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP).

MRW understands that the first workshop (12 March) will consider whether or not small businesses should continue to be exempt from packaging regulations – ‘de minimis’.

Other workshops are being held until 23 March, and they will cover compliance schemes (13 March), reprocessors (16 March), waste management companies (19 March), the packaging supply chain (20 March) and local authorities (23 March).

The sessions are being facilitated by consultant Steve Lee, who was until October 2016 chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.

In January MRW reported that ACP had told Defra that the PRN system was unsuitable in its current form and should be revamped.

The group called for better communications; more strategic funding; incentives for smarter design and material use; and the involvement of a wider range of businesses in the system.



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