With the present buying season approaching, East Riding of Yorkshire Council is alerting companies and consumers to its powers to crack down on the over-packaging of goods.
Authorities across the UK are taking action to stop over-packaging under The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003.
Colin Briggs, trading standards manager, said: “Many companies have reduced their packaging, such as on cereal boxes, washing detergents, with many more now concentrates, or have changed from a heavier glass bottle to a lighter plastic one. More packaging is also recyclable, reusable or refillable.
“There are still, occasionally, products which have too much packaging and it is these instances where we will consider whether to take action.”
Goods most frequently sited as being over-packaged include cosmetics and perfumes; software; and goods bought over the internet.
The legislation is enforced by the council’s trading standards officers who have the power to take action against a company that does not comply with the regulations.
“We have received complaints but not many of them have involved companies within the East Riding.
“Where a complaint involves a company in the East Riding, initially we visit them to advise what steps can be taken to reduce the packaging and save their postage and packing costs.”
Complaints about packaging involving companies in other parts of the country are passed through to the trading standards service local to where the company’s head office is based.
John Skidmore, head of streetscene services, said:
“We have made it easier to recycle packaging through our roll out of the collection of glass and further plastics in the blue bin and of cardboard in the brown composting bin.
“A first step in reducing the amount of packaging that goes to landfill will always be to cut it back at source and that means not buying over-packaged goods.”
The council’s trading standards officers also advise companies of their legal requirements during routine inspections or if asked to do so.
For further information, contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.