Packaging waste: become a packaging producer compliance scheme (PCS)
How to apply for PCS approval, register, take on packaging producer responsibilities and comply under the approval.
PCSs provide a service for packaging producers. The producers join a scheme as members. For a charge, the PCS takes on their packaging producer legal obligations.
Packaging PCS: apply for approval
If your business is in England you need to contact the Environment Agency to apply for approval to operate a PCS.
If your business is in:
- Wales, Natural Resources Wales approves
- Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency approves
- Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency approves
Approved or appropriate person
You must be an approved or appropriate person to:
- sign applications for PCS approval and registration
- submit data and declaration of compliance statements
The approved or appropriate person must be one of these legal entities:
- a director or company secretary of a company registered in the UK
- a partner in a partnership
- an individual operating as a sole trader
- a person who has control or management of the business
Once approved you need to get an account set up on the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD) so you can register your PCS.
If your business is in England email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a login. If your business is in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland you need to ask for a login from your relevant environmental regulator.
- register your PCS and members details in NPWD by 15 April each year
- provide full details of the agreement for the constitution of the PCS including any rules or regulations the members must follow
- provide a statement of the PCS policies, which should include:
- details of the steps it will take to increase the use of recycled packaging waste in the manufacture of products or materials supplied by its members
- the methods by which packaging waste will be recovered and recycled through the scheme
- information about the steps the user or consumer may take to help the PCS apply these methods
- pay the appropriate fee
When you submit your registration the relevant environmental regulator will assess your application. They may ask you for more information. You will be notified of the decision within 28 days.
Conditions of the approval
To get your PCS approved and to maintain your approval, you must:
- complete the registration template provided by your environmental regulator
- ensure all of your members’ data is correct
provide resources to your members so they can meet their Consumer Information Obligation (CIO), including access to information on their role in reuse, recycling and recovery of packaging and packaging waste; return, collection and recovery systems; the meaning of recycling and recovery symbols and the latest waste strategy guidance
- meet your members’ recycling and recovery obligations
- ensure you have acquired sufficient electronic packaging recovery notes (ePRNs) and electronic packaging export recovery notes (ePERNs) to meet your members recycling and recovery targets
- submit a yearly statement of compliance confirming how you’ve met your member’s obligations and CIO
- keep records for 4 years
Penalties for non-compliance
You must comply with the conditions of approval of your registration.
If you don’t, your environmental regulator may withdraw your approval and cancel your registration.
If you fail to comply you may face prosecution under criminal law. In England and Wales there are also civil penalties available. These include:
- fixed penalty fines for minor offences
- higher fines for a more serious offence
- an enforcement undertaking – an offer, formally accepted by your environmental regulator that redresses the impact of your non-compliance
Contact the environmental regulators
Telephone: 03708 506 506
Producer Responsibility Regulatory Services (PRRS)
99 Parkway Avenue
Parkway Business Park
Telephone: 0300 065 3096
Producer Responsibility Unit
Natural Resources Wales
St Mellons Business Park
Telephone: 07786 457700
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
Producer Compliance and Waste Shipment Unit
Castle Business Park
Telephone: 028 9056 9387
Producer Responsibility Unit
Northern Ireland Environment Agency
Gasworks Business Park
Lower Ormeau Road
Legislation and regulations
See packaging and packaging waste legislation and regulations:
- Packaging and Packaging Waste European Directive (94/62/EC)
- Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007
- Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2008
- Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2008
- Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2010
- Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2012
- Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016
- Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations
Published: 9 May 2014
Updated: 15 December 2016
- Content updated to include 2016 amendments to Regulations. PCSs apply to environmental regulators for approval rather than government ministers. PCSs no longer need to submit an operational plan.
- New text that explains what an approved person is and a link to the delegation of approved/appropriate person form.
- First published.