Packaging Regulation changes

Posted on 6th February, 2014

The Environment Agency has recently issued new guidance regarding the collection of waste packaging. The revised technical guidance (WM2) came into effect from 1st Jan and last week the EA issued a draft letter clarifying what the new changes mean. Final confirmation is expected shortly.

Definition –

All used packaging is now considered waste under the WM Regulations. For any packaging to be defined as non-hazardous packaging waste, all reasonable efforts must have been made to have it emptied and cleaned. The old thresholds based on container volume no longer apply, packaging needs to be cleaned of all traces of hazardous product or the contents will be considered hazardous waste as defined by the Hazardous Waste Regulations.

Hazardous Packaging –

Any packaging that has contained a hazardous* product that has not been decontaminated or treated to remove the hazard will now be considered as “Hazardous Packaging”. Packaging that now falls into this category must be consigned into a Licensed Transfer/Treatment facility. Sites operating under an exemption can no longer accept Hazardous Packaging.

Collections can only be made using a Hazardous Waste Consignment Note. A fee is charged by the Environment Agency for each of these Notes. Discussions with the EA and the Industrial Packaging Association (IPA) are ongoing to agree a reduced rate for packaging waste suitable for reuse.

In the meantime, these changes will result in all collections of Hazardous Packaging being consigned as Hazardous Waste and incurring a EA Hazardous Waste fee.  Also, for most businesses this new legislation will mean a change to their paperwork; others may find that they now have to register as a Hazardous Waste Producer and have their waste reclassified. All of WasteCare’s regional Service Centres are licensed to accept Hazardous Packaging. We also operate a dedicated reconditioning facility in Leeds so that where possible the packaging we receive is washed for re-use or recycling in accordance with the current Waste Hierarchy.

If you think that you might be affected by these new changes and you would like to discuss your requirements further please contact WasteCare on 0113 2638643 or email packaging@wastecare.co.uk

* Contains a Hazardous Property H1-H15 e.g. H4 Irritant