The Law On Waste

FAQ

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in prosecution and fines so we would strongly advise businesses to carry out checks to see if they are affected.

Who is affected ?

Organisations will be affected by the Packaging Waste Regulations if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Annual UK turnover exceeds £2 million
  • Handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging/packaging materials
  • Own the packaging/packaging materials that they handle
  • Perform a relevant activity on any of the packaging handled

What do you need to do ?

Organisations affected by the Packaging Waste Regulations will need to:

  • Register with the appropriate environment agency. This can be done either directly with the environment agency.
  • Complete an annual data submission detailing the amount of packaging they have handled
  • Calculate how much packaging waste they must pay towards getting recycled
  • Purchase recycling evidence notes known as PRNs (packaging waste recovery notes)

WEEE regulations

The UK Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations were first introduced in 2007 with the aim of reducing the amount of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) ending up in landfill. These Regulations were updated in 2013 to revoke the 2006 regulations, incorporating the recast Directive 2012/19/EU and aspects arising from the Red Tape Challenge government initiative. These regulations came into force on 1 January 2014.

 

Who is affected ?

Organisations will be affected by the WEEE Regulations if they carry out any of the following activities: 

  • Manufacture EEE under their own brand
  • Re-brand, with their own brand, EEE that was manufactured by another company
  • Import EEE into the UK
  • Sell EEE to household consumers

 

What do you need to do ?

Organisations affected by the WEEE Regulations must:

  • Join a WEEE compliance scheme within 28 days of placing EEE onto the UK market
  • Complete data submissions detailing the amount of EEE they have placed onto the UK market
  • Ensure their EEE is marked with the crossed out wheeled bin symbol and a producer identification mark e.g. brand name
  • Finance the cost of collection, treatment, recovery and environmentally sound disposal of WEEE

If organisations sell EEE to household consumers then they must provide information to consumers about:

  • Their role in recycling
  • The environmental impacts of hazardous substances found in WEEE
  • The importance of separating WEEE from other waste streams
  • The meaning of the crossed out wheeled bin symbol
In addition to this they must also:
  •  Offer free in store take back on a one-for-one like-for-like basis for all types of EEE they sell

 

Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulation

The Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations were introduced in the UK in May 2009 with the aim of reducing the amount of used batteries ending up in landfill.

 

 

Who is affected ?

Organisations will be affected if they carry out any of the following activities: 

  • Manufacture batteries
  • Import batteries or products containing batteries
  • Sell more than 32 kg batteries to end users per year (excludes batteries sold within equipment) 
 

 

What do you need to do ?

Producers that place more than 1 tonne of portable batteries onto the UK market must:

  • Join a compliance scheme
  • Complete data submissions detailing the amount of batteries they have placed onto the UK market
  • Pay a share towards the costs of battery recycling
 
Producers that place less than 1 tonne of portable batteries onto the UK market must:
  •  Register directly with the appropriate environment agency
  • Complete an annual data submission detailing the amount of batteries they have placed onto the UK market

Distributors that sell more than 32 kg batteries to end users per year must:

  • Offer in store collection of portable batteries
  • Publicise at point of sale that a battery recycling point is available in store

RoHS Regulations

The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Regulations came into force in the UK in 2006 with the aim of restricting the use of certain substances in the manufacture of various types of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) in order to prevent damage to human health and the environment. The Regulations were updated in 2012 to transpose the recast Directive (Directive 2011/65/EU) and came into effect on 2 January 2013.

 

 

Who is affected ?

Organisations will be affected by RoHS if they carry out any of the following activities:

  • Manufacture EEE
  • Import EEE
  • Distribute EEE
 

 

What do you need to do ?

There are several options available for organisations to ensure that they are compliant with RoHS including:

  • Product testing
  • Compliance declarations
  • Product labelling

If you think your organisation is affected by the RoHS Regulations and you’d like some guidance 

Reach Regulations

The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH) Regulations were introduced in 2007 with the aim of protecting users’ health and the environment through better understanding of chemical substances.

 

 

Who is affected ?

Organisations will be affected by REACH if they: 

  • Manufacture or import chemical substances or mixtures
  • Produce or import goods which contain chemicals e.g. toys, electronic components
  • Produce or import goods which contain chemicals that are released during their use e.g. scented candles, nicotine patches, aerosols
  • Process chemicals or create mixtures for end use
  • Use chemicals in the workplace 
 

 

What do you need to do ?

Manufacturers and importers must register each substance manufactured or imported in quantities of more than 1 tonne per year.  They must also prepare a technical file about each substance and notify users about the safe use of each substance. 

Users of chemicals have a range of obligations which primarily relate to ensuring the safe use of the chemical product as well as providing information and documents to further downstream customers.

If you think your organisation may be affected by the REACH Regulations and you would like some guidance.

These regulations were introduced in the UK to minimise the impact of activities that have the potential to damage the environment.  

The various regulations covering permitting and licensing in the UK are: 

  • The Environmental Permitting Regulations (England & Wales) 2012
  • The Pollution Prevention & Control (Scotland) Regulations 2000
  • The Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2011
  • The Pollution Prevention & Control (Industrial Emissions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2013
  • The Waste Management Licensing (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2003
 

 

Who is affected ?

These regulations will affect organisations that carry out activities that could have an impact on the environment.  Examples of activities that are likely to require a permit are: 

  • Power generation
  • Manufacturing and other industrial activities
  • Waste management activitiesIntensive pig and poultry farming
  • Activities involving solvents
  • Operation of a landfill site 
  • Organisations that treat, store, recycle, use waste mobile plants or carry out final disposal of waste may require a Waste Management Licence (WML).
 

 

What do you need to do ?

Organisations that wish to carry out activities such as those listed above will need to apply for a permit or licence from the appropriate authority for their region:
 
  • Further guidance for England & Wales can be found here and here
  • Further guidance for Scotland can be found here
  • Further guidance for Northern Ireland can be found here