What is environmental reporting? The meaning behind AR, PRO and other key terms
by Jennifer Brook at 16:11 in Environmental, Packaging
For companies that are new to the world of environmental compliance, it can be difficult to know where to start. A number of countries both in Europe and across the world require you to report the amount of packaging, waste electronics (WEEE) and batteries that you place on the market, as part of extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws. There will be fines imposed if you do not comply with the regulations. Also, each country handles things slightly differently, and their report forms look different. This is where Lorax EPI comes in. Our consultants can help you to understand where and how you need to report, and any other requirements you may face. We have an in-house software solution which can generate regular data reports for you in each country required. Or alternatively you can outsource all your requirements, and opt into our complete 'Outsourced Compliance' package, where we handle all the reporting for you.
PRO = Producer Responsibility Organisation
Many countries with EPR legislation have PROs, or schemes, who work between you and the government. You report the amount of material you place on the market to them, and they report it to the government for you. After registering with a scheme, you also pay fees to them, to cover the recycling costs of all the materials that you have released onto the market (in the packaging, WEEE or batteries; this does not include the materials of the product itself). It is important to consider all packaging materials; for example, packaging could be made from plastic, paper, cardboard, or even metal. Think about hangers or little metal tags for clothes. Even these might need to be reported! Note that some schemes have obligation thresholds. This means that if you are a small company, you might not have to register or report.
Sometimes, there are higher fees if you have packaging made from hard-to-recycle materials, like black plastic, and lower fees if your packaging is made from clear PET, or something easier to recycle. Currently, this has only been implemented in some of the larger European countries such as France. However, we are seeing an increase in this type of fee in other countries.
BOM = Bill of Materials
This is the table of all the different types of materials that you place on the market. For example, you need to know what type of packaging you have (box, bag, hanger), what each part is made of (PET plastic bag, cardboard box, metal hanger), and how much does each one weigh. This information can then be used to populate the report forms required for each PRO. Be aware that every report form may have slightly different requirements. Usually it is required to split out the data into material categories and report the weight of each material separately.
AR = Authorised Representative
If you sell into another country from abroad, and you don't have a physical site in that country, you may still need to register and report, because you are contributing to the waste in that country. Sometimes, you won't be allowed to do this by yourself, and it will be necessary to appoint an Authorised Representative to take on your legal responsibility. They will be based in the country where you sell, and can report on your behalf.
Lorax EPI can provide guidance on all these elements of environmental compliance reporting and more. Maybe you are registered with PROs but are struggling to submit your reports, or you are not yet registered in the countries where you sell. Even if you don't know whether or not you are registered, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you with your obligations.
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