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REPRA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is REPRA?
A: REPRA is the Retailers' Producer Responsibility Association, and was set up in 2003 by six major UK retailers in an effort to find a shared solution to the UK's packaging waste regulations. Current REPRA members are: Fenwick, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Morleys, and Selfridges.

Q: What is REPRA's role?
A: REPRA undertakes the calculation of the packaging waste obligations for a number of large department stores. All obligated companies must calculate the weight of all packaging handled each calendar year. This includes both the packaging that they discard and packaging sold to and subsequently discarded by their customers.

This can be a time-consuming and expensive process for large department stores, because packaging weights must be collected from a large number of geographically dispersed suppliers. Weights must then be extrapolated intelligently to estimate the total weight of all packaging handled. ecoVeritas has therefore been retained by the members of REPRA to perform this calculation for them. This has dramatically increased the accuracy of the calculations, whilst also approximately halving the calculation costs to members.

Q: Are you another compliance scheme like Valpak or Biffpack?
A: No. Our members are also members of compliance schemes, whose services are complementary to our own. Our primary focus is to determine how much packaging a client handles, and therefore how many Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) they will need to purchase. The primary focus of compliance schemes, on the other hand, is to purchase these PRNs at the lowest cost.

Q: Do members' data remain confidential?
A: Yes. Sensitive data is never shared between members.

Q: On the Testimonials page, many clients mention that you have halved their costs. How are you able to do this?
A: Our members tell us that our fees are typically about half those charged by other companies, and also half the cost of doing the calculation themselves (including a reasonable allowance for opportunity costs).

We are able to keep membership fees low because we don't have expensive offices or company cars, nor do we have shareholders who demand large profits.

Furthermore, we have spent ten years developing our custom-built "Packman" software, which has streamlined all aspects of calculating clients' obligations, including labour-intensive data collection.

Finally, many suppliers provide goods to more than one REPRA member; we can save on costs by sending a single data request to these companies.

Q: Has your methodology been audited?
A: Our members have on several occasions been audited by the Environmental Agency and their respective compliance schemes, and have always performed well.

Q: What are the other benefits of joining REPRA?
A: REPRA also holds an annual forum where members can discuss any environmental issues of concern to them. In the first two years the focus was on the UK's relatively new packaging waste regulations, but more recently discussion topics have included carbon issues, waste management, corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues, WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), and packaging minimization.

Q: How do I join REPRA?
A: If you would like to know more about membership in REPRA, please or phone our offices on 01865 721375.