What are the Packaging Regulations?
The European Union (Packaging) Regulations 2014 apply to all businesses that place packaging, packaging material or packaged products on the Irish market, i.e. manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers. The purpose of the Packaging Regulations is to ensure Ireland reaches national recovery and recycling targets as set out by EU Directives.
Under the regulations, packaging means any material, container or wrapping, used for or in connection with the containment, transport, handling, protection, promotion, marketing or sale of any product or substance, including such packaging as may be prescribed.
A producer is defined as someone who, for the purpose of trade or otherwise in the course of business, sells or otherwise supplies to other persons packaging material, packaging or packaged products.
A major producer means a producer who supplies more than 10 tonnes of packaging, packaging material or packaged products to the Irish market annually and who has an annual turnover of €1 million or more.
Specified packaging means waste aluminium, fibreboard, glass, paper, plastic sheeting, steel and wood.
What Are Producers Obliged To Do?
All producers are legally required under the regulations to separate and recycle all specified packaging waste arising on their premises, and to return used packaging to the suppliers, where possible.
In addition, any businesses deemed to be major producers must either join Repak, which is the approved national Packaging Recovery Scheme for businesses, or register with their respective Local Authority as a “Self-Complier”.
What Must Self-Compliers Do?
Any business that decides to become a "Self-Complier", rather than joining Repak, must take the following steps:
- Apply for Registration with their respective local authority (fees are currently €15 per tonne of packaging – minimum €500 fee, maximum €15,000)
- Renew registration annually
- Submit a Waste Plan and quarterly reports to their local authority
- Place take-back advertisements in local newspapers twice yearly
- Display take-back notices at all entrances to business premises
- Accept similar types of packaging as that supplied, free-of-charge from the public
- Provide facilities for the acceptance, segregation and storage of packaging waste
Details of those companies registered as Self-Compliers in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown are contained in the Notice of Self Compliers which can be found in the related documents section on this page.
Businesses that are Major Producers and wish to register as Self-Compliers with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council can download the relevant application form from Related Documents.
Local authorities are responsible for the enforcement of the Packaging Regulations within their respective functional areas. Fines of up to €3,000 and/or 12 months’ imprisonment can apply for breaches of the regulations on summary conviction in the District Court. Fines of up to €500,000 and/or prison sentences of up to 3 years may be imposed following conviction on indictment.