This exemption allows you to treat waste packaging so that it can be reused in its original form. You can also clean suitable waste to allow it to be recycled.
Types of activity you can carry out
- washing waste plastic drums so that they can be reused or sold for reuse
- cleaning waste plastic or glass to allow it to be recycled
Types of activity you can’t carry out
- use this exemption if your operation falls within Part B of Section 6.4 (Coating activities and printing) of Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 (this is regulated by your local authority)
- treat hazardous waste
- shred or bale any of the types of waste under this exemption, see related exemption, T4
- clean the waste before disposing of it to landfill or incinerating it
- treat waste which is contaminated by more than 1% of its original volume
Types of waste you can treat
The waste codes are those listed in the List of Wastes (LoW) Regulations. You need to make sure your waste fits within the relevant waste code and description.
|Waste code||Type of waste|
|150107, 160120, 170202, 191205, 200102||Glass|
|150101||Paper and cardboard packaging|
|020104, 070213, 150102, 160119, 170203, 200139||Plastic, including plastic packaging from agriculture|
Amount of waste you can treat or store
- treat up to 300 tonnes of waste over any 7-day period
- store up to 300 tonnes of waste at any one time
- store waste for up to 3 months before it is treated
Where containers have stored a dangerous substance:
- one tonne of waste is the maximum amount you can store over any 7-day period
- the waste must not be contaminated by more than 1% of its original volume before it is treated
- store and treat waste in a location with sealed drainage
- have the correct consent before you discharge dirty water from washing waste to surface water, groundwater or sewer
Find out more about environmental permits for discharges to surface waters and groundwater activities.
For consent to discharge to a sewer you need to contact your local water company.
To bale or shred suitable waste after cleaning you must register exemption T4 preparatory treatments, such as, baling, sorting, shredding.
Register an exemption
You need to register this exemption with the Environment Agency if you will meet the requirements:
If you are coating packaging you should contact your local authority to find out if you need an environmental permit under Part B of Section 6.4 (Coating activities and printing) of Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Dangerous substance – see regulation 2(1) of the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009.
Discharge consent – a consent issued under Chapter II of Part 3 of the Water Resources Act 1991 or regulation 13 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010.
Hazardous waste – see How to classify different types of waste.
Sealed drainage – a drainage system with an impermeable surface that ensures:
- no liquid will run off the surface apart from via the system
- all liquids entering the system are collected in a sealed sump except where they may be lawfully discharged
Published: 2 April 2014
From: Environment Agency
Part of: Waste exemptions: treating waste
Related guides: Waste exemption: S1 storing waste in secure containers