Packaging Regulations

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 Please note, this information is a guide only and does not purport to provide, and should not be relied upon as a legal interpretation of the Regulations. 

The information contained in this guide is intended to facilitate your understanding of the contents of the Packaging Regulations 2014.  However, the Regulations should be read in their entirety.  Click here to download a copy.

The Waste Management (Packaging) Regulations 2014 promote the recovery of specified packaging waste. The Regulations impose obligations on all producers, including manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers, who in the course of business supply packaging to the Irish market.

The Regulations came into effect on the 21st June 2014 and replaced all the preceding packaging Regulations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do the Regulations affect my Business

The Regulations impose obligations on all producers who in the course of their business supply packaging to the Irish market.  All producers of packaging are obliged to separate it at source into specific waste streams (aluminium, fibreboard, glass, paper, plastic sheeting, steel and wood) and to arrange for its recovery, or return the used packaging to the supplier, if applicable.  

The Regulations place obligations on “producers” and “major producers” of packaging. 

 

What is meant by the term “Producer”of Packaging?

A producer is a person who in the course of business supplies packaging material to the Irish market.

A producer is required to segregate waste on-site for recycling / recovery purposes.

What is meant by the term “Major Producer”of Packaging Waste?

Your company is a “major producer” of packaging if you had a turnover of more than €1m in the preceding calendar year, based on audited accounts, and you place more than 10 tonnes of packaging on the Irish market per annum. 

Additional obligations are placed on major producers.  A major producer must register with Dublin City Council or with the compliance scheme Repak.

I do not know the volume of Waste Packaging which my Business supplies.  What must I do?

You will need to have an audit carried out to accurately measure the weight of packaging supplied.  The audit must be carried out by a “competent” person.   A competent person may be one of the following: 

  1. A qualified auditor i.e. a professional accountant who is qualified to carry out an independent examination of a company’s records and / or financial accounts.
  2. A Director of the company (if a registered company)
  3. The Manager of the company (if not a registered company
  4. An independent person engaged by the company to ensure compliance with their statutory obligations under the regulations ( i.e. an external environmental consultant).

If you engage the services of an independent auditor as at (1) above to prepare the packaging report, you do not require the prior approval of Dublin City Council.  In the remaining three cases, the approval of Dublin City Council is required in advance of the preparation of the packaging report.

Remember: this issue is only relevant if your turnover was more than €1m in the preceding calendar year.

I am a Major Producer.  What are my options?

  • You can become a “Self-Complier” by registering with Dublin City Council, if your premises is within its administrative area.

or 

  • You can join the compliance scheme Repak

 

Self-Compliance

The requirements placed on Self-Compliers are listed below. 

You must:

  1. Register each year with Dublin City Council in respect of each premises (which is located in Dublin City Council’s administrative area).  Click on the attached link to download the Self-Complier’s application form if you wish to avail of this option. 
  2. Pay an annual fee of €15 per tonne of packaging waste supplied.  There is a minimum fee of €500 and a maximum fee of €15,000. 
  3. Provide adequate facilities for the public, free of charge, for the acceptance, segregation and storage of packaging waste at your premises.
  4. Display a notice at each entrance advertising take-back facilities.
  5. Advertise take-back facilities in local papers twice yearly.
  6. Submit quarterly reports on packaging received, supplied and recovered. 
  7. Prepare a Three Year Implementation Plan specifying the steps to be taken to comply with the regulations.
    1. Guide to the Three Year Implementation Plan
  8. Make the above plans / reports available to the public on request.
  9. Arrange for the collection of packaging on request to anyone whom the major producers supplies.
  10. Importers, pack-fillers are obliged to accept / collect specified weights of packaging each quarter. 

Repak

Repak is an approved body under the Regulations.  If you choose to become a Repak member, you will be required to pay an annual fee.  In return, you will be discharged from the obligations placed on self-compliers, including the requirement to take back packaging waste.   Contact details for Repak are shown below:

Address: Repak Ltd., Redcow Interchange Estate, 1 Ballymount Road, Dublin 22.

Telephone: 01/ 4670190:  Fax: 01/4670197

Website: www.repak.ie

e-mail: info@repak.ie

 

I am not a Major Producer.  What must I do?

You must provide evidence to Dublin City Council to support your claim.  Examples include:

1. A copy of your audited accounts for the preceding year or a statement from an Accountant confirming your turnover for the previous year.

2. A report from a Packaging Audit carried out by a competent person showing that you supplied 10 tonnes or less to the market.  There are four categories of “competent” persons as explained  in the previous Question “I do not know the volume of Waste Packaging which my Business supplies.  What must I do”?

(Remember: You do not need to undertake a Packaging Audit if you can demonstrate that your turnover in the preceding calendar year was €1m or less).

 

My registered company owns multiple premises.  Is each one taken separately?

The premises are taken together in determining turnover and weights of packaging.  Totals are cumulative.  Where turnover is greater than €1m and packaging produced is more than 10 tonnes, the company is a major producer and as such must either register with all the relevant local authorities OR join Repak.

What happens if I do not comply with the Regulations?

Failure to comply is an offence and can result in a fine and / or prosecution.  A person found guilty of an offence shall be liable to: 

  • On summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €3,000 and / or imprisonment of up 12 months.    
  • On conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €15,000,000 and / or imprisonment for up to 10 years.
  • (Section 10, Waste Management Act 1996, as amended) 

What is the role of Dublin City Council?

Dublin City Council is responsible for enforcing the legislation within its functional area and must ensure that every business is in full compliance.  It has general powers to inspect all business premises and to request any relevant documentation or a Packaging Report. 

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