BBPA disappointed with recycling review outcome

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Mixed response: BBPA CEO Emma McClarkin has welcomed some of the review’s outcomes but expressed disappointment with other aspects
Mixed response: BBPA CEO Emma McClarkin has welcomed some of the review’s outcomes but expressed disappointment with other aspects

Related tags Legislation Social responsibility Health and safety Finance

Sector trade body the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has expressed disappointment over a packaging recycling consultation that has failed to extend a compliance period that has previously proved valuable in the past.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) called for responses to the consultation between March and May this year on whether it should retain the PRN/PERN system (Packaging Waste Recycling Notes and Packaging Waste Export Recycling Notes) as an interim solution for managing payments for non-household packaging waste, which includes hospitality sites.

This system was originally introduced under the 1997 Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations as a way for producers to demonstrate they have met their statutory recycling obligations each year, by obtaining evidence notes. These evidence notes – PRNs and PERNs – are issued by accredited recycling processors or exporters for each tonne of eligible packaging waste recycled.

Monthly reporting welcomed

The consultation focused on reporting requirements on the sales of PRNs/PERNs; reporting requirements on how the revenue from PRN/PERN sales is used; timeframes for the trading of PRNs/PERNs; the introduction of a ‘technical competence’ test for compliance scheme operators and accredited re-processors/exporters; and the interface with the introduction of a Deposit Return System (DRS).

It also sought views and evidence on proposed changes including the introduction of a compliance fee for producers that fail to meet their obligations.

Responding to the publication of the Government’s consultation, BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “We welcome the decisions within [this] PRN consultation response to introduce monthly reporting of reprocessing and export data, as well as monthly price and revenue data reporting, by re-processors and exporters.”

Spiralling costs

She continued: “However, it is disappointing the Government has decided not to bring in a mechanism for extending the compliance period for the trading of PRNs/PERNs that has previously proved valuable in helping to smooth PRN prices or introduce a compliance fee at this stage.

“Additionally, [this] Government response does nothing to address spiralling costs producers will continue to face this year and into 2023. Urgent action remains necessary to alleviate the immense pressures the current volatile PRN market is placing on producers.”

The consultation outcome stated the Government would implement monthly reporting of reprocessing and export data by re-processors and exporters; monthly price and revenue data reporting by re-processors and exporters; amendments to the reporting categories for the revenue received from the sale of PRNs by re-processors and exporters; a competence test for re-processors, exporters and compliance scheme operators; and DEFRA and the devolved administrations will continue to monitor this approach to the PRN and PERN systems and will review this in 2026 to 2027.

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