recycling packaging waste
Most organisations generate packaging waste. This is often discarded with the general waste, and taken away by a waste management contractor, after which, there are generally two options for disposal of packaging waste:
When packaging waste is recovered or recycled by an accredited reprocessor they issue a packaging waste recovery note (PRN). This can be either:
- Landfill (for which you will incur a landfill tax)
- Recovery / recycling (by a reprocessor)
Neither the reprocessor or waste management contractor are obliged to pass the PRN back to the generator of the packaging waste.
- passed back to the waste management contractor
- sold through the PRN market
- sold directly to a compliance scheme such as Valpak
How to recycle packaging waste
The following factors could determine whether it is possible for your business to recycle packaging waste:
The best place to start when embarking on a packaging waste recycling programme is often the company who currently manages your waste - i.e. the person who picks up your skips and bins. It is also worth focusing further up the waste management hierarchy and looking at possible ways to reduce and minimise packaging. Click here for advice on waste auditing.
- logistics - how many sites do you have? Are they connected through current transport links?
- location - where are these sites? Is access easy? Is storage possible?
- quality - what materials do you have? Are they contaminated?
- segregation - are you able to segregate, store and bale / compact the waste?
- current waste contracts - who currently manages your waste?
There will usually be two options available for recycling packaging waste:
- Seek the PRN - negotiate with the company who collects your waste for a PRN in return. Often, you will need a large volume of clean segregated packaging waste. Valpak members can use their own PRNs to offset their obligation.
- Reduce your waste management costs - if you don't have a lot of waste and it wouldn't be beneficial to purchase a bailer you can negotiate with your waste contractor for a reduction in your waste management costs rather than receiving the PRN.
If you have over 100 tonnes of packaging waste to sell click here.