The Environment Agency (EA) has published its 2020 policy and monitoring targets in the packaging producer responsibility monitoring plan 2020.
Using an ‘intelligence led and risk based approach’, the EA carried out compliance monitoring of accredited reprocessors and exporters, packaging producers and compliance schemes.
It completed site inspections through pre-arranged or unannounced visits, or remote auditing processes that were put in place this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Where it identified non-compliance, it followed enforcement and sanctions policy and associated guidelines to determine the appropriate enforcement action.
“Over the year, our various interventions have resulted in disrupting approximately 200,000 tonnes of waste, with an estimated packaging recycling note (PRN) value of £30 million, of what we regard illegitimate or fraudulent evidence,” it says.
Over the year, our various interventions have resulted in disrupting approximately 200,000 tonnes of waste, with an estimated packaging recycling note (PRN) value of £30 million, of what we regard illegitimate or fraudulent evidence
EA actions in 2020 led to 8 accredited operators being suspended; 5 accreditations being cancelled; 17 accreditation applications being refused; 13 companies withdrawing their accreditation applications.
It accepted a total of 44 enforcement undertakings from packaging producers in 2020. This resulted in £593,081 in financial contributions to environmental projects.
Since the introduction of civil sanctions for the packaging regulations in 2011, it has accepted 334 enforcement undertakings. These have made financial contributions of £6,783,128 to environmental projects, the EA says.
Provisional figures indicate that in 2020, the reported UK packaging recovery rate was 73.9%, of which 68.33% was reported as being recycled.
These recovery and recycling rates exceed the EU directive targets of 60% recovery and 55% recycling.
EA action summary:
- the final 2020 UK total recovery obligation was 8,235,955 tonnes (an increase of 35,921 tonnes on the 2019 final UK obligation)
- all UK schemes met their 2020 obligations (the UK scheme obligation was 7,864,341 tonnes)
- all but one UK direct registrant purchased their PRNs to meet their obligations (this obligation was 371,614 tonnes)
- carry over PRNs increased from 441,403 tonnes into the 2020 obligation year to 585,361 tonnes into 2021
- the year ended with the highest number of accredited plastic reprocessors (112) and accredited plastic (160) and paper exporters (78)