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Anyone who ‘handles obligated packaging’ is a producer. Obligated packaging doesn’t include waste, exports or reused packaging unless it is imported.

Register your business

You must register your business if:

  • you handle more than 50 tonnes of obligated packaging a year
  • your turnover is more than £2 million a year

You ‘handle’ packaging if your business:

  • manufactures or converts raw materials to make packaging
  • fills packaging with products
  • sells packaged goods to customers
  • hires out packaging, eg pallets
  • operates a franchise or other licensed business, including pubs
  • imports packaging or packaged goods
  • brings transit packaging into the UK that will end up as waste in the UK


You don’t have to register if the 50 tonnes of packaging is second hand packaging that is being reused in its original form and for the same purpose.

How to register

You can either:

Reporting to the Environment Agency

If you join a compliance scheme, any reports you need to make will be handled by them. Compliance schemes are run by private companies that act as your ‘agent’ with the Environment Agency (in Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and in Northern Ireland the Northern Ireland Environment Agency).

They can help you meet your obligations, for example:

  • they can recover and recycle your packaging waste
  • they can report on how you recover and recycle (known as ‘electronic packaging recovery notes - ePRNs’)
  • they can report on your compliance performance

There is a fee for joining a compliance scheme. The fee may vary depending on which scheme you choose.