2022 Packaging Producer Responsibility Monitoring Plan

1. Our monitoring policy

The Environment Agency monitors the compliance of businesses in England that have responsibilities under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) (Amended) Regulations 2007. This includes:

  • producers
  • approved compliance programs
  • accredited processors and exporters

We monitor companies to ensure that:

  • packaging producers in England contribute to UK recycling targets
  • register of all obligated producers
  • producer compliance systems fulfill their legal obligations on behalf of producer members
  • growers and grower compliance programs provide accurate data on packaging handled and recycled in the UK
  • there is accurate data on registered producers
  • processors and exporters meet their legal obligations, including accreditation requirements
  • packaging waste is recycled according to the correct standards
  • packaging waste is legally recycled

Under packaging waste regulations, we receive information and data from producers, compliance programs, reprocessors and exporters. This includes:

  • applications for approval and accreditation
  • registration requests
  • quarterly statements
  • resubmissions
  • certificates and declarations of conformity

We monitor this information to assess and determine compliance.

Our monitoring activities include:

  • assess company performance and behavior to identify potential non-compliances
  • evaluate and determine requests for accreditation and approval
  • evaluate and determine records
  • investigating producer “dropouts” (previously registered producers who do not re-register)
  • investigate “free-riders” (unregistered obligated producers)
  • validation of submissions
  • evaluate and investigate late or missing submissions
  • evaluate and analyze packaging recycling ratings (PRN) and export packaging recycling notes (PERN)
  • assess and analyze waste records and issue PRN and PERN
  • evaluate and determine the certificate and declarations of conformity
  • intelligence gathering and data trend analysis
  • risk profiling
  • monitor companies posing a risk to the environment and the packaging regime

2. Funding

Most of our compliance work is funded by packaging costs. We allocate this funding, along with revenues from other producer responsibility schemes, to our national producer responsibility team.

We also fund a dedicated waste regime investigation team to support our investigations of serious and material non-compliance.

Revenue from packing fees does not fund our:

  • green list waste export inspections
  • compliance with the regulation on transboundary shipments of waste
  • enforcement activity under the packaging regime (e.g., withdrawal of approval, cancellation of accreditation and prosecutions)

We pay for these activities with government funding.

3. Our monitoring activity

3.1 Producers

At a minimum, we will monitor all registered producers by:

  • validate, evaluate and analyze the information and data submitted during registration (about 7,000 producers) and after new submissions
  • identify, assess and investigate late or missing submissions
  • monitoring PRN and PERN – we will contact producers who are at risk of non-compliance to ensure that they comply with recycling obligations and provide a certificate of compliance
  • assess certificates of compliance
  • risk profiling
  • identify and contact unregistered packaging producers (custodians and free riders) and bring them into compliance

We may perform additional compliance checks throughout the year. This may include site visits or remote audits.

3.2 Compliance programs

At a minimum, we will monitor all approved compliance programs by:

  • validate, evaluate and analyze the information and data submitted during registration and after new submissions
  • evaluate and investigate late or missing submissions
  • monitoring PRN and PERN – we will contact compliance schemes that are at risk of non-compliance to ensure they meet recycling obligations and submit a compliance statement
  • evaluate declarations of conformity
  • risk profiling

We may perform additional compliance checks throughout the year. This may include site visits or remote audits.

3.3 Processors and exporters

At a minimum, we will monitor all accredited processors and exporters by:

  • assess and determine accreditation requests
  • validate and analyze the information and data submitted during the application (for accreditation, after quarterly report submissions and after resubmissions)
  • evaluate and investigate late or missing submissions
  • assess and analyze the waste record, and issue PRN and PERN
  • risk profiling

We may perform additional compliance checks throughout the year. This may include site visits or remote audits.

4. Noncompliance

When we identify a company that is not compliant, we can work with them to bring them into compliance. Where necessary, we will use our enforcement powers under our Enforcement and Sanctions Policy, the Growth Bond and the Regulators Code.

Our approach will depend on:

  • severity of non-compliance
  • attitude of the offender
  • environmental risk and packaging regime

5. Risk assessment

We follow an intelligence-driven, risk-based approach that focuses on companies we identify as posing the greatest risks to the packaging regime and the environment.

We will continue to review our approach to ensure we respond to and address all risks and issues. Our monitoring activities in this plan may change.


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