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Industry Develops New Waste Packaging Guidance

The Chemical Business Association in conjunction with other association in the UK chemical supply chain have developed supplementary guidance to WM3 covering the assessment and classification of wastes coming within the scope of the European Waste Framework Directive.

The Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency have welcomed the development of this guidance and have agreed to its adoption in England, Wales, and Scotland.

This industry guidance focuses on waste packaging and includes a flow chart designed to help companies assess whether packaging actually constitutes waste and whether it should be classified as hazardous or non hazardous. The guidance specifically provides criteria helping with the classification of empty packaging containing residues of hazardous substances.

Industry Guidance on the assessment and classification of waste packaging WP1 August 2018

This supplementary guidance was updated in August 2018, in line with revisions to WM3 issued by the joint environment agencies in July 2018.

The Chemical Industries Association have published updated guidance – “Safeguarding chemical businesses in a changing climate” – in collaboration with SLR Consulting. This is a full revision of the guidance first published in 2015, which was prepared at that time by a partnership between Chemical Business Association, Chemical Industries Association, and the Non-Ferrous Alliance – led and supported by the Environment Agency’s Climate Ready Support Service. The updated guidance sets out a structured approach to developing a climate change risk assessment and action plan for chemical, pharmaceutical, and other COMAH businesses. As well as being based on the latest (2021) evidence and projections for climate change impact, it also follows the recommendations in two new relevant ISO standards – ISO 14090:2019 and ISO 14091:2021, both on aspects of Climate Change Adaptation.

Safeguarding chemical businesses in a changing climate 

The EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste 94/62/EC seeks to reduce the impact of packaging and packaging waste on the environment by introducing recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste, and by encouraging minimisation and reuse of packaging. The UK implemented these provisions into legislation as the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 in March 1997.

The legislation has been amended numerous times most recently as the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 (as amended).  Click here for the regulations.  The recycling and recovery obligations are regularly updated by DEFRA.

The Environment Agency are currently carrying out a campaign to increase awareness of the legal obligations surrounding the use of PFOA in class B firefighting foams (for use on flammable liquid fires). They have produced a guidance document to help businesses identify if they hold PFOA containing foams and what actions they must take if they do so.

Background Information on PFOA in Firefighting Foams

EA Guidance on PFOA in Firefighting Foams