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PENNINE PACK AND INVESTORS IN THE ENVIRONMENT WIN TWO AWARDS AT THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT

The GBN, a Yorkshire micro-business, has been presented with two Green Apple Awards earlier today in recognition of their Environmental Best Practice at the Houses of Parliament in London. Two of The GBN’s divisions were recognised within their individual fields at the Awards: Investors in the Environment won the Green Champion Award for environmental best practice in the service industries for their work with companies, assisting them to reduce their environmental impact by the implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS), with a real focus on practical implementation. Pennine Pack won a Bronze Award for best practice in the packaging…

Want to reduce your plastics obligation?

We have been working with a couple of members to help them reduce their obligations and have put together some resources to help. The resources include: A covering note, A Powerpoint presentation ‘What’s the problem with plastics’, an overview of the factors driving the current situation that you may want to use to brief your senior managers and A Powerpoint presentation ‘Reducing plastic packaging’ with more than 20 case studies giving examples of what your business may be able to do to reduce plastics that you may want to use you’re your continuous improvement teams to guide a brainstorming session.…

Packaging consultations 2019 & New EU Directives

The consultation feedback published was disappointing to say the least and generally summarised the responses and not the Government’s preferred positions. We have summarised over 400 pages of text to only 4 pages. We have tried to interpret the information provided with some speculation about what we think will happen. Please read the original documents to remove any ambiguity that our interpretation may create. If you did not have the opportunity to contribute to the consultations, you may be pleased to know that the digital templates were not very user friendly and probably reduced the number of responses significantly.  …

PRN Market update August 2019

The spike in plastic PRNs generated a lot of interest with members in June when a new record was set for plastic PRNs at £450/t. We believe that this was caused by one buyer who had a deadline to meet at the end of June and once they had completed their contract, prices fell back to £200/t. At the end of July, quarterly statistics were released. The figures were generally good but Plastic and Aluminium tonnages accepted to be recycled / exported are behind the level needed to assure the market that there will not be any problems with compliance…

Review of the PRN Market, June 2019.

In 2018 we were expecting turmoil in the packaging compliance market when China implemented its ’National Sword’ policy that restricts the import of waste materials. This has spilled into 2019 with uncertainty in most markets. Plastic PRNs have seen the most fluctuation. During 2018, our average cost for plastic PRNs in 2018 was £64.75, rising to around £150.00/t in Q1/2019, crossing £200.00/t during May peaking at £450/t (18th June) and dropping back to £250/t at the end of june. Why do we have a problem? Plastic PRNs have seen a difficult 18 months since China implemented its ‘National Sword’ policy…

Consultations and more – Plastics and recycling is flavour of the month while Westminster is otherwise paralysed by Brexit.

The Carrier bag tax consultation that proposes to extend carrier bag charges to all retailers and increase the charge to 10p per carrier bag in England closed last week. Click here for details about the carrier bags charge consultation. On Monday 25 Feb we had the second reading of the Plastics Bill. This seeks to establish a Plastics Agency, similar to the Committee on Climate Change, to oversee the phasing out of single use plastics pollution by 2042. Click here for more details about the Plastics Bill. Last week the Government announced four more consultations that you may want to…

Welcome to The GBN January Briefing

Welcome to The GBN January Briefing The Christmas and New Year holidays are now a distant memory, but while we were all having a few days off wondering how a single turkey could make so many meals, the Government was busy launching the Resource and Waste strategy and a couple of other little nuggets. Here's our brief outline of key changes ahead in the exciting world of packaging related environmental legislation! Summary The main proposals you need to know about are: The biggest implication for most businesses in the Resource and Waste Strategy is that Producers will have to pay…

Clean Air Zones – Is this going to be the biggest change to motoring that we have ever seen?

** Update - January 2019 ** Leeds city council has now been given government approval to move forward in it’s endeavours to implement a Clean Air Charging Zone. From January 6th 2020 operators of vehicles will be charged up to £50 per day to enter the zone. Charges are at various rates and only apply to Buses/coaches, HGVs and Taxi and private hire vehicles. Private cars, light goods vehicles (LGVs), vans, motorcycles and any other vehicles will pay no charge. Similar Clean Air Zones are being implemented in other metropolitan areas around the UK. Clean Air Zones – Is this…

Pennine-Pack is 20!

When the Pennine-Pack packaging compliance scheme was set up in 2008 by The Calderdale and Kirklees Green Business Network it had only 10 members. We now number over 100 members split between the original Pennine-Pack scheme, an offshoot that operates in Northern Ireland and Ethical Compliance. Ethical Compliance was launched in 2014 giving members the option to choose to buy UK only PRNs. It is wonderful that 2 of the original members are still with us and almost half of our members have been with us in excess of 10 years. We left the umbrella of the council’s support nine…

Government to review the use and impact of single-use plastics and packaging waste

Summary: The Government wants to make big changes to consumer behaviour to reduce the impact of single use plastics, increase recycling of reusable materials and that the packaging industry will have to pay for this. It is likely that the cost of ‘packaging compliance’ will increase by a factor of five to ten times its current level over the next two to five years to meet changes in both British Governmental policy and new EU directives. On Tuesday 13th March, in his Spring Statement, Philip Hammond announced that the British Government will consult on how the tax system can be…

Investors in the Environment’s Becky Taylor is recognised for her contribution to sustainability at the inaugural Inspiring Women Changemakers ‘Igniting Inspiration’ Awards.

Investors in the Environment’s Becky Taylor is recognised for her contribution to sustainability at the inaugural Inspiring Women Changemakers ‘Igniting Inspiration’ Awards. At the Inspiring Women Changemakers ‘Igniting Inspiration’ Awards in Bradford last week, Becky Taylor, who runs ‘Investors in the Environment’ in Yorkshire & the Humber, was presented with an Award for the Sustainability Savvy Organisation. The judges noted Becky's passion for sustainability and her ability to make a meaningful impact through her work. She was nominated for the award by iiE member Michelle Marks of Coral Mountain. In September 2016, after over 20 years’ experience in industry, Becky…

Pennine-Pack Win Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice

Pennine-Pack were presented with a Green Apple Award in recognition of their Environmental Best Practice earlier today at the Houses of Parliament in London. The Yorkshire based micro-business helps companies to comply with packaging regulations* whilst actively supporting the UK recycling industry. In 2010, Pennine-Pack committed to encouraging their customers to take a more holistic approach to recycling at a time when increasing amounts of waste were being shipped overseas for recycling. Accordingly, customers were invited to sign up to Pennine-Pack’s Ethical Compliance scheme which is committed to buying all its recycling certificates from UK recyclers. The industry ‘norm’ is…

Here are my last thoughts for Zero Waste Week

Here are my last thoughts for Zero Waste Week, this time focussing on energy savings that you can look at. Measure it! Check your energy meters regularly and look for unusual patterns of energy use. Checking energy use overnight or at weekends when a building is supposed to be empty tells you how big your base load is. Check to see what actually runs 24/7. If you don’t know how much energy your equipment uses, how will you know how much energy it saves if you turn it off / wastes if you leave it on? Turn it off! It…

Increase in carton recycling boosted by new facility in West Yorkshire

It is now ten years since the ‘Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment’ (ACE) UK launched its first beverage carton recycling initiative. Ten years later and they have reported that the number of local authorities collecting cartons for recycling from the kerbside has hit 66% compared to only 57% in 2013/14. It is not clear what proportion of cartons are actually recycled Many of the cartons collected are recycled in West Yorkshire by Sonoco Alcore who opened their carton recycling facility in 2013 with a capacity to process 25,000t of cartons, that’s around 40% of the paper based food…

Zero Waste Shop

And at the other end of the scale, we have the Zero Waste Shop in Totnes. Nicola and Richard became disillusioned with City Life in an apartment with no recycling facilities. They started to wage a war on packaging and to cut out a few steps, they now run an organic wholefood shop in Totnes where everything sold is sold without packaging. So how do you run a shop with no packaging? – Its easy. You bring your own containers, (1) weigh the container, (2) fill the container with the product of your choice, (3) re-weigh the container, (4) label…

Waging war on plastic bottles

Continuing our Zero Waste Week campaign, the Scottish government is proposing to introduce a deposit scheme for bottles and cans. We think this is a great idea but not very practical and without financial merit as we stand today. Lets start with the problem: In the UK a typical household uses around 480 plastic bottles a year but only recycles just over half of them. Greenpeace claim that most soft drinks manufacturers sell in single use bottles using over 2 million tonnes of plastic and on a global scale, only 6.6% are recycled. Some of those bottles will have travelled…

£10m invested in North Yorkshire to improve recycling and reduce waste going to Landfill.

Yorwaste have invested something like £10 million this year to increase their capacity. Most recently, they have opened a £3million waste transfer station to handle 75,000t of waste per year (about 300t per day) to service households across York and North Yorkshire. The Harewood Whin site will sort and bulk up waste before sending it to the Allerton Waste Recovery Park to generate energy from the residual waste. The Allerton Waste Recovery Park will generate enough energy to power 40,000 homes.

Packaging Regulations changes expected by the end of 2017

We are awaiting amendments to both GB & NI regulations to bring them into line with announcements made in the Spring Budget in April. The changes are expected to realign recycling targets up to 2020. Some of the targets might stretch capacities in the UK and there are external factors, particularly in China, that make us anxious about PRN prices for metals, plastic and wood for both short term and longer term, but we don’t want to cry wolf in case we are wrong. If you need to budget for 2018, please let us know and we can have a…

Pennine-Pack Win Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice.

Pennine-Pack Ltd, operators of three packaging compliance schemes and the environmental accreditation scheme ‘Investors in the Environment’ and environmental consultancy TheGBN.co.uk , have won a Green Apple for Environmental Best Practice 2017. In 2012, Pennine-Pack were looking at their carbon footprint and realized that although their scope 1 & 2 emissions were relatively modest, about 5t CO2e, one of our scope 3 emissions associated with the recycling certificates for waste shipped to China was three orders of magnitude worse, about 5,000t. To reduce this relatively large impact, we resolved to: Increase the proportion of British recycling that we supported Promote…

Whats the difference between degradable, compostable or bio-plastics?

There is a lot of confusion between a few plastics terms that define how easily they ‘return to nature’. Below, we try to explain the difference between some of them: Degradable – means it can be degraded, broken down. Cutting plastic with scissors, grinding into dust is degrading it. You may have seen flexible plastics that become brittle and break down in the sun and crumbles. Degradable plastics just become smaller and smaller pieces of plastic. It is small pieces of plastic like this that fish can feed on, filling their intestines, but giving them no nutrition. Biodegradable – Biodegradable…

Updated waste duty of care code of practice

The updated Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice for England is much shorter than the previous version (16 pages, was 57 pages) in an attempt to make it easier to understand. The Scottish and Northern Ireland versions are 66 and 59 pages long and are closer to the previous version that many of you will recognise.

Community Foundation for Calderdale recognises Pennine-Pack at their 25th anniversary dinner

We were delighted to receive this unique plaque recognising our contributions to Community Foundation for Calderdale at their 25th anniversary presentations last night. Thank you. Pennine-Pack Ltd has donated over £12,000 to the Community Foundation over the last seven years. The kerbside Fund that supports employment and environmental causes has been the main recipient, but following the 2015 Boxing Day Floods Pennine-Pack made a donation through the Community Foundation to Project Colt to help them to replace their vehicles and this year we have supported the Watermark fund with 1% of our management fees from 2016. After the 2015 Boxing…

Investors in the Environment – Our latest service

From 1st September 2016 the operation of Investors in the Environment (iiE) Yorkshire and Humber region has been taken over by our sister brand, The Green Business Network. The Green Business Network is an Environmental Consultancy based in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. Our parent company, Pennine-Pack Ltd, was the first businesses accredited to iiE in Yorkshire. From the start we have believed iiE to be a fantastic option for businesses seeking to improve their environmental performance and gain recognition and accreditation at a reasonable cost. All the other alternatives that we considered were simply too expensive or too time consuming to…

Why Do Pennine-Pack want to buy their PRNs from British Recyclers?

Do you ever hear stories about businesses that say that small changes have bigger effects than you can imagine? When Pennine-Pack were looking at how we could reduce our carbon footprint in 2012, we were almost blown out of our chairs when we realised that while our scope 1 & 2 co2 emissions only came to about 4 tonnes, there was a HUGE 4,000t elephant hiding in our scope 3 emissions. Cutting through the maths, we produced 4t worth of CO2 to run the business but caused almost 4,000t of emissions with our share of recycling certificates (known as PRNs)…

Pennine-Pack runners up in Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016

Press Release 27 May 2016 Pennine Pack are delighted to have been awarded runner up in the Supply Chain category in the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016. TheYorkshire based company was chosen for its approach in offering customers a low carbon option whilst actively supporting the UK recycling industry. John Mooney, Director of Pennine Pack, commented that “we are not only thrilled and extremely honoured to have been runner up in this award, but are also slightly surprised due to scale of some of the other organisations.” He went onto say “we’re a micro business based in Hebden Bridge and…

Amendments to packaging regulations published February 2016

Changes to the packaging regulations passed through parliament on 23rd February 2016. The main changes are: removal and replacement of regulations relating to the approval of schemes, passing responsibility for approval of schemes from DEFRA to the relevant agency, including NI, a new regulation permitting authority to sign for an approved person to someone else. We are keeping a close eye on this last point as the published regulations are not what the Environment Agency were expecting. We will update you on changes / clarifications as they are published. Stop Press – 2016 Budget Update The 2016 budget includes a…

Pennine-Pack shortlisted for Guardian Sustainable Business Award

Pennine Pack are delighted to have been shortlisted in the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards 2016. The Yorkshire based company has been shortlisted in the Supply Chain category for its approach in offering customers a low carbon option which actively supports the UK recycling industry. The Ethical Compliance packaging scheme reduces the supply chain for third party waste producers, reduces CO2 from transport and processing, and ensures best practice employment conditions. John Mooney, Director of Pennine Pack, said “we’re obviously thrilled that the project has been recognized as part of the shortlist. We know that by encouraging UK recycling, as opposed…

Pennine-Pack supports the Watermark Fund

Pennine-Pack was lucky enough to escape the December floods but I consider it a privilege to have seen the way the community has pulled together to help each other and to be part of it. Now that the water has subsided and some businesses have reopened it is easy to forget that many people are still living ‘upstairs’ until their homes are refurbished. Behind closed doors, they are working away to get things back to ‘normal’. For some people, normal will never be the same because homeowners with houses built after 2009 and all businesses are not entitled to use…