Packaging waste - producer responsibility regimes
The UK has a statutory producer responsibility regime for packaging. This places a legal obligation on businesses which make or use packaging (like raw materials manufacturers, converters, packer/fillers and sellers) to ensure that a proportion of the packaging they place on the market is recovered and recycled.
UK packaging waste recovery and recycling targets for 2013 to 2017
On 21 March 2012, as part of the Budget, new packaging targets for 2013 to 2017 were announced. These reflected the preferred option based on responses received from our consultation.
The targets apply to businesses under the Producer Responsibility Regulations.
They will ensure that the UK continues to meet EU Directive targets over the next 5 years.
|Material||2012 (%)||2013 (%)||2014 (%)||2015 (%)||2016 (%)||2017 (%)|
|Of which recycling||68.1||69||69.9||70.8||71.8||72.7|
As these targets only apply to obligated businesses, the overall level of recycling and recovery will be lower.
From 2013, there will also be split targets for glass. The targets for individual businesses with an obligation in glass will be:
|2013 (%)||2014 (%)||2015 (%)||2016 (%)||2017 (%)|
|Proportion of glass that must come from remelt||63||63||63||64||64|
Progress so far
In 2011 the UK disposed of an estimated 10.8 million tonnes of packaging waste, of which around 67% was recovered. In 1998 only 27% of packaging waste was recovered.
2011 recovery and recycling achievement data
|Total packaging waste arising (tonnes)||Total recovered/recyled (tonnes)||EU Target (%)||Recovery/recycling rate (%)|
|Energy from Waste||685,612|
The producer responsibility regime implements the Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (94/62/EC), amended by Directive 2004/12/EC.
The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 (as amended) cover recycling and recovery, while the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003 (as amended) cover single market and optimisation aspects.
More about the regulations and how to comply.