About Our Packaging Compliance Services

Recycling Lives Compliance Services are unique. As well as assuring you of meeting all packaging regulations, meet all legislation and advising on the financing the recovery and recycling of packaging waste, we offer compliance solutions with added social impact.

  • Evidencing the recovery and recycling of packaging waste
  • Assuming legal responsibility for complying with packaging regulations
  • Finding solutions to reduce, recover and reuse - as well as recycle - packaging

With extensive industry knowledge and a clear understanding of Packaging Waste Regulations, our packaging compliance consultants are well placed to advise you on your business’ responsibilities and requirements. We will ensure you meet all aspect of the packaging waste directive and work with you to look at the amount of packaging you use and ways to reuse packaging.

Packaging Compliance

The regulations and your responsibilities

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 were brought in to reduce the amount of packaging ending up in landfill. It sets out the requirements for companies to report on their packaging recycling and also consider how they can reduce packaging waste, either through closed-loop solutions to recycling or a deliberate strategy around packaging design.

It is a criminal offence to not comply with the Regulations, but adherence to the directive is simplified by Recycling Lives Packaging Compliance Scheme. We will assume all responsibility for your obligations by arranging the recovery and recycling of packaging for you. We work with any obligated UK business placing packaging on the market, providing cost-effective, compliant solutions with a unique addition of creating social impact from all our operations.

who we work with

  • tomee tippee ®
  • Superdrug
  • makita ®
  • claire's

Benefits designed to help your business

  • Unique partnership between a packaging compliance scheme and an industry-leading recycler
  • Evidence on the recovery and recycling of packaging waste
  • Practical assistance on how to reduce, recover and reuse, as well as recycle, packaging used
  • Transparent approach to funding and securing collection and treatment partners
  • Dedicated account managers; experts in the packaging regulations
  • Opportunities to report direct CSR from processing and recycling through Recycling Lives offender rehabilitation and job creation programmes

Packaging Solutions that have a social Impact

Recycling Lives create employment opportunities for prisoners and ex-offenders to aid rehabilitation and reduce reoffending. We have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development for providing training and employment at recycling centres, which operate within HMP facilities.

The Recycling Lives business sustains charity through commercial metal and waste recycling services. In addition to our social welfare charity, which assists people struggling with homelessness, our HMP recycling facilities provide work experience, training and skills which prepare prisoners for life after prison.

Our Facilities

We operate electrical equipment recycling facilities at satellite installations within HM prison services, including FPD (Flat Panel Display) and other IT equipment dismantling. Full training is provided, to ensure that the programme is appropriate for all abilities. Prisoners are paid for the work, 40% of which goes towards victims support funds.

Packaging Compliance
Creating Opportunities

Rehabilitation and reoffending are commonly identified as key issues facing our overcrowded prison systems. By equipping prisoners with skills, self-confidence, work experience and qualifications, we can help people to escape a recurrent cycle of repeat offending and become active members of society.

The Prison Reform Trust states ‘Prisoners who attend vocational training in prison are more likely to secure employment shortly after release – a view endorsed by Ofsted’.

In addition, a similar scheme to the Recycling Lives programme operated by the National Grid found reoffending rates for participants were just 6%, compared to the 45% average.


  • Environment Agency
  • ICER
  • SEPA Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru Natural Resources Wales ®
  • NIEA Northern Ireland Environment Agnecy
  • BMRA

Packaging Compliance Explained

The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 were first introduced in the UK in 1997. The aim of the packaging waste directive is to cut down the tonnage of waste going to landfill by incentivising all obligated companies to:

  • Reduce the amount of packaging they put onto the market
  • Redesign packaging so it is less harmful to the environment
  • Encourage the creation of packaging that can be recovered, re-used or recycled to make the packaging market more sustainable.
Obligated businesses

Businesses are obligated to follow this packaging directive if they:

  • Turnover more than £2million a year, and
  • Handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year

A business is considered a package handler if it:

  • Produces raw materials for the manufacture of packaging.
  • Converts raw materials into packaging.
  • Supplies packaged goods to an end user.
  • Acts as a service provider, supplying packaging by hiring out or lending goods.
  • Imports packaging/packaging material/packaged goods into the UK.

Under the UK WEEE Regulations there are 14 categories of WEEE which are used for reporting purposes. Producers must therefore decide which category to list their equipment under from the following:

Packaging Compliance Schemes

In the UK, an obligated producer must:

  • Join a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS) or register directly with the Environment Agency
  • Fund the recovery and recycling of specific tonnages of waste packaging, and certify this recovery and recycling has been achieved.

Packaging Compliance FAQs

Find the answers to all your questions about Packaging Compliance.

Q: Which businesses are affected
by packaging regulations?

If your business has a turnover more than £2million a year and handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year, then you are likely to be an obligated packaging producer under EU packaging regulations. However, there are also certain business activities that are taken into consideration when ascertaining if you are obligated.

Business activities which obligate you to follow the EU packaging regulations:

  • Packaging goods anywhere in the supply chain.
  • Importing new and second-hand goods directly into the UK.

Business activities which do not obligate you to follow the EU packaging regulations:
Wrapping or packaging goods to send to another part of your business (the same legal entity)

  • Re-using packaging from goods you acquired as the end user
  • You are the end user of a packaged good.
Q: What do I need to do if
I’m a packaging producer?

Under packaging waste regulations, an obligated producer has two options: either register with a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS), or register with the Environment Agency. A packaging waste compliance scheme, like Recycling Lives Compliance Services, assumes the packaging producer’s legal liabilities and carries out their recovery and recycling obligations.

If a producer chooses to register with the Environment Agency they must ensure compliance with the packaging regulations themselves. This means they are obligated to assess and provide evidence for the quantity of packaging handled, reused and recycled, as well as pay the Environment Agency for the cost of monitoring and analysing this data.

All obligated packaging producers are required to fund the cost of recycling and recovery of specific quantities of materials through the purchase of Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs).

Q: What is a

A Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) or Packaging Export Recovery Note (PERN) is the most common form of evidence of recycling and/or recovery. It was developed by the Environment Agency to provide a paper trail for UK businesses obligated under the EU packaging directive.

A waste processor and exporter which has been approved and accredited by the Environment Agency, such as Recycling Lives, generates and issues PRNs and PERNs as proof that a certain tonnage of recycling has been performed.

The cost of a PRN or PERN is not fixed and can rise or fall dependant on the perceived supply and demand of the material being recycled.

Q: I recycle my own packaging – does this mean I already meet the requirements of packaging legislation?

No. Packaging legislation is specifically aimed at recycling and re-using packaging that has been handled by a business. This means that even if you recycle materials that could be used for the manufacture of packaging, this action cannot be used to meet the requirements of packaging waste regulations.

In all cases, recycling is just one part of your obligations as a packaging provider under this law. You still have to register with a packaging compliance scheme or the Environmental Agency and supply evidence of re-using or recycling packaging through the purchase of PRNs and PERNs.

Q: Are there any obligations
on imports and exports?

A packaging producer is responsible for all packaging that it oversees or manages within the UK. This means if your business imports packaging materials into the UK then you still have an obligation to ensure this packaging is re-used or recycled when it becomes waste.

However, if your company exports goods outside the UK, you have no obligation to re-use or recycle it when it becomes waste because it will be discarded outside of the UK. Nonetheless, you are still obligated to declare the exportation of this packaging.

Q: What happens if you don’t comply with
packaging laws and regulations?

It is a criminal offence not to fulfil your obligations under the EU packaging and packaging waste directive. Failure to register with the Environmental Agency or a packaging compliance scheme could result in court proceedings and significant fines. The highest fines to date have exceeded £250,000.

why work with us

Jeremy Hartley Managing Director Eric Wright Group The Eric Wright Group has always recognised the importance of supporting the local community and using our business activities to improve people’s lives. Working with Recycling Lives gives us an opportunity to continue to make a real difference and achieve more through working together. Read moreRead less
Martin Chown Supply Chain Director Sellafield Limited We are committed to ensuring our local communities derive maximum economic benefit from the money we spend at Sellafield, by insisting companies that win work with us to invest to support local growth. Recycling Lives has these values at its core and I’m excited by their plans. The contract win also allowed for the creation of a number of jobs in Cumbria as we work to open a new site in the county, creating jobs for yard operatives, drivers and site managers. Read moreRead less
Josh Steiner Social Value & Sustainability Manager Wates Group Recycling Lives has reaped the rewards of strong commercial and social credentials to secure large-scale contracts. The high value and quality nature of the service, alongside its demonstrable social benefits has prompted the organisation’s ongoing success, allowing it to expand its range of services and open in new locations to achieve nationwide coverage Read moreRead less

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