Extended Producer Responsibility

What you need to know and how can we help!


EPR and Your Business

EPR will require more detailed data reporting than what you’re used to providing. If your business handles more than 25 tonnes of packaging and has a turnover of more than £1 million a year, you’ll want to keep scrolling.

What is Extended Producer Responsibility?

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a new piece of UK legislation which is a reform of the UK Packaging Waste Regulations (2007). It’s been developed as an incentive for producers to use less packaging and design packaging that is easy to recycle.

The responsibility of recycling is now placed on the importer and brand owner of the packaging as they will now have to pay the full net cost (FNC) of managing the packaging once it becomes waste. This includes the collection, recycling, disposal and the cleaning of any littered and fly-tipped packaging. It will also see the full cost of collecting household waste shift from the taxpayer to the producer.

Scroll down to download the full EPR Guide.

Who will be impacted?

Small Producers

Small producers must have had a turnover of £1 million and handled over 25 tonnes of packaging in the previous calendar year.

They will have to report data on packaging handled annually and pay the environmental regulator an annual fee. Small businesses will also need to register with the environmental regulator by January 2024.

Large Producers

Larger producers must have had a turnover of £2 million and handled over 50 tonnes of packaging in the previous calendar year.

Large producers will need to report data on packaging handled every six months and pay the environmental regulator an annual fee. They will also need to register with the environmental regulator by July 2023. A new obligation will apply as they will need to pay the scheme administrator an administrative and a waste management fee for household and street bin packaging. Large producers will still need to procure PRNs or PERNs too.

Prepare your packaging for the EPR data submission

Data reporting has begun in July 2023 for the first data submission.

Just remeber the main difference between the current regulations and EPR is that there will now be a single point of compliance instead of compliance being shared across different activities. This means all obligated packaging must be reported just once by the obligated producer organisation who then finance the full cost of dealing with the packaging from when it it placed on the market, to when it becomes waste and is collected at its end of life.

The data which must be collected and reported includes:

  • Packaging activity
  • Packaging class
  • Packaging type
  • Material and weight

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Download the full EPR guide here!

Download the guide to find out more about what the EPR scheme means to your business, the cost implications involved, details of what you are required to report on and how Flame UK can support you on this journey

EPR Guide Download

Catch up on the latest EPR news and updates:

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Packaging Waste Regulations?

The Packaging Waste Regulations were introduced in 1997 and updated with the Producer Responsibilities Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007. The aim is that businesses that produce or use packaging contribute to the cost or recovery and recycling. It is based on the principle of collective responsibility.

What is a PRN

PRN is an abbreviation for a Packaging Recovery Note. A PRN is the evidence of recycling that obligated businesses need to show in order to demonstrate they have met their targets under the regulations. PRNs can be bought on the open market and are ‘traded’. Compliance schemes buy PRNs and supply them to their members as evidence of meeting targets.

Why are the Packaging Waste Regulations in place?

The aim of the Packaging Waste Regulations is to reduce the amount of packaging sent to landfill. This is achieved through the PRN system.

What does PRN stand for?

PRN stands for Packaging Recovery Note.

What are PRNs?

PRNs prove that a certain amount of packaging materials have been recycled or recovered. Obligated producers (those that have to comply) use PRNs to prove that they have recycled a certain proportion of their waste packaging.

Who needs to buy PRNs?

Businesses with a turnover of over £2 million that handle over 50 tonnes of packaging need to buy PRNS. The number they need to buy depends on how much of each material they handle. If your business meets this criteria, it is known as an “obligated producer”.

I reuse my packaging; do I need to count that?

Reusing your packaging is always a great thing to do, that will cut your waste costs and improve your green credential. As far as the packaging waste regulations is concerned any item that you reuse is not counted for on the second use but must be included in the first count.

What does an “obligated producer” mean?

An obligated producer simply means that you are a business that meets the Packaging Waste Regulations Criteria – ie that you need top purchase PRNs. If you meet this criteria, you are known as an “obligated producer”.

How do PRNs work?

PRNs are valued on supply and demand, so they fluctuate in value. The value depends on availability of materials, difficulty of collecting and recycling, commodity prices and the recycling targets.

Where does the money raised from PRNs go?

Funds from PRNs are used to ensure that recycling targets are met. In 2021 PRN revenue was £140 million – the majority of this was put into developing recycling infrastructure.

What type of packaging is included?

There are six different types of packaging materials the businesses nee to buy PRNS for. These are: glass; paper; plastic; aluminium; steel and wood. If you produce or use any of these, you will need to work out if you are obligated.

What does EPR stand for?

EPR stands for Extended Producer Responsibility.

What is Extended Producer Responsibility?

This is a new piece of legislation that supplements the Packaging Waste Regulation (2007).

Why has the Extended Producer Responsibility been introduced?

EPR has been introduced to place the responsibility of recycling onto the importer and brand owners of packaging. The importer and brand owner will need to pay the full net cost (FNC) of managing the packaging once it becomes waste.

Who is responsible under the EPR?

Obligated producers are: the Brand Owner; Importer; Packer/filler; Distributor; Service Provider; Online Market Place. See our EPR Guide for more detail on the obligated producers.

How does EPR impact obligated producers?

Large companies that meet the PRN obligations (over £2 million turnover and handle 50 tonnes of packaging ) will still need to buy PRNs to meet their recycling obligation. They will need to register and pay the Environmental Regulator a fee. Smaller producers that have a turnover of £1million and handled over 25 tonnes of packaging will need to register with the Environmental Regulator and pay an annual fee.

I am an obligated producer, how do I comply?

You can either buy PRNs direct or through a scheme. If you’re unsure, contact us and our experts can talk you through it.


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