A smarter approach to compliance on global packaging rules

The regulatory demands around packaging compliance are increasing. How are companies keeping up?


by Ben Preater

Packaging. It’s an essential part of the product experience and one that can make or break your marketing. But, with ever-increasing volumes of packaging waste in both Europe and the US, it’s starting to cause serious environmental damage.

Regulators are taking note and governments worldwide are looking at ways to manage the problem. As a first step, the EU, the UK, and other jurisdictions worldwide are introducing new extended producer responsibility (EPR) requirements for packaging. This is primarily a way to address the increasing volume of packaging waste, by ensuring that companies take responsibility for the packaging they create. 

But the sheer volume and variety of new requirements are creating a headache for global businesses. Rules and requirements often vary significantly between jurisdictions, making it a real challenge for companies to understand what exactly is required in each jurisdiction. It is also expensive for businesses to build the required compliance processes, and it is resource-intensive to manage across a global operation.  

Towards a smarter approach to compliance

In our conversations with customers, our experts were hearing again and again that customers wanted tools which would help them navigate the complexity of the compliance process for global packaging requirements.  

They wanted to be able to compare requirements across jurisdictions, be confident they had identified every aspect that mattered, and have clarity about what the rules mean in practice in different locations and geographies. They were keen to find efficiencies and synergies that might reduce compliance costs too—but also to understand where requirements were simply too different to align.  

They also wanted access to additional help whenever needed. Sometimes a tool is all you need—but at other times customers were clear that checking their own understanding with a real person from among our experts and analysts would also be welcome. 

In response to these conversations, our team of experts has been working hard to develop a tool that would meet all these needs. We now present the all-new Packaging EPR Global Regulatory Comparison tool, which is part of our Focused Compliance Solution.  

This was designed to help compliance teams solve their packaging-related problems by giving them: 

1. Clarity on the meaning behind different rules 

Our customers told us that identifying the requirements in all the jurisdictions relevant to their business often meant searching through several different online portals and interpreting multiple lengthy legal documents. They were finding it a time-consuming process, and prone to error. It was difficult for them to be certain they had correctly identified all possible requirements. They were also concerned that they might misinterpret complex legal documents, especially if those documents were not in the team’s first language.  

Our new tool simplifies this process to provide clarity for businesses. By extracting all the key requirements and presenting them in a simple, straightforward way, our analysts have done the work for you. This provides clarity at a glance and reduces the risk of misunderstanding.  

2. Easy comparison across jurisdictions 

Our experts also heard that one of our customers’ biggest frustrations—and not just in relation to packaging—was designing and implementing compliance processes to meet the varying requirements across the jurisdictions in which they operate. Developing these processes can be time-consuming and expensive. It is particularly hard to look through and revisit each set of requirements in turn to see the similarities and differences. However, this is essential to identify efficiencies. 

Our new tool therefore includes comparison tables that make it easy to compare requirements across jurisdictions. This simplifies the process of identifying possible efficiencies and synergies to avoid ‘reinventing the wheel’ for each new jurisdiction. Not only does easy comparison lead to cost reductions but it also makes it easier to comply with requirements. 

3. Extra support when needed 

We also know from experience that, even with all the right tools to hand, customers sometimes need to talk to a human being. They might need help to answer a challenging question, or just want a bit of extra insight they know our experts can provide. 

That’s why, as part of Focused Compliance Solution, our packaging EPR took is offered alongside a package of analyst support. This includes 10 hours of helpdesk time per year with our analysts, who can help answer any challenging questions, and quarterly webinars for additional detail and context. Our experience suggests this is a key part of getting full value from investment in our regulatory tools. 

Global packaging rules. Unpacked.

We understand that new EPR requirements represent a challenge. But we believe our new Packaging EPR tool puts compliance teams in the best possible position to meet the challenge head-on, helping compliance teams cut through the chaos to identify crucial requirements and compare across jurisdictions.  

Our aims in developing the tool are to help you manage the increased complexity that is emerging in this area and be confident in your compliance mechanisms. 

Want to learn more?

Why not talk to a member of our team? Wed love to discuss your challenges and explore how our Focused Compliance Solution can help. Get in touch. 

Contact us