Waste management: code of practice on sampling and reporting at materials facilities - June 2024

This updated code of practice sets out a number of requirements with regard to the sampling and reporting of materials received by materials facilities. Requirements under the new code will start from 1 April 2025.

5. Definitions used in this Code of Practice

34. The following definitions are used in this Code of Practice. The singular includes the plural and the plural the singular.

Authorised MF operator: Any person authorised to operate a materials facility (including those operating under paragraph 11 and 17 exemptions under the Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2011)

Buyer: A person or organisation who has arranged to purchase output material from the authorised MF operator. This includes but is not limited to end users and intermediaries.


a. water suitable for human consumption,

b. a beverage suitable for human consumption,

c. a sports drink suitable for human consumption, or

d. a liquid which constitutes a beverage or sports drink suitable for human consumption if it is—

i. diluted,

ii. combined with crushed ice, or processed so as to create crushed ice,

iii. combined with carbon dioxide, or

iv. prepared by way of a process that involves any combination of the processes mentioned in paragraphs (i) to (iii),

such as fruit squash or fruit cordial.

Paragraph (d) does not include any liquid which is used only—

a. to add flavour to, or enhance the flavour of, a beverage or sports drink suitable for human consumption, or

b. to sweeten a beverage or sports drink suitable for human consumption,

such as coffee flavouring syrup, sugar syrup or hot sauce.

“Sports drink” means a liquid which is advertised or marketed as a product to enhance physical performance, accelerate recovery after exercise or increase muscle mass, or other similar liquid.

Drink container: A bottle or can which—

a. contains or used to contain drink;

b. is made wholly or mainly from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, steel or aluminium;

c. has a capacity of at least 150 millilitres but no more than three litres of liquid;

d. is designed or intended to be sealed in an airtight and watertight state at the point of supply to a consumer in the United Kingdom; and

e. is not conceived, designed or marketed to be refilled or reused in any other way by any person,

together with any label applied to it and its lid or other closures.

Dry recyclable waste: separately collected waste, that is —

a. glass,

b. metals,

c. plastics,

d. paper,

e. card (including cardboard),

f. fibre-based composite material.

Dry waste stream: Dry recyclable waste of the same type (such as glass).

EPR scheme administrator: A person who is appointed by or under regulations made under section 51, and paragraph 4 of Schedule 5, of the Environment Act 2021, as the administrator of a scheme for producer responsibility for disposal costs.

Fibre-based composite material: Packaging material which is made of paperboard or paper fibres, with a layer of plastic, and which may also have layers of other materials, to form a single unit that cannot be separated by hand.

Input material: Dry recyclable waste received at the facility for consolidation or sorting.

Material fragments: Target, non-target and non-recyclable material that is made up of:

a. In the largest proportion of glass material, fragments of that material that measure less than 13 millimetres along their longest dimension, and

b. In relation to all other types of output material and for mixed dry recyclable waste, fragments of material measuring less than 55 millimetres along their longest dimension.

Materials facility:

a. A facility where dry recyclable waste is treated in order to separate that waste into a dry waste stream or streams (a “materials recovery facility”), or

b. a facility where dry recyclable waste from more than one supplier is consolidated into bulk quantities (whether as a first point of consolidation or following the first consolidation of bulk quantities, transferred from other suppliers),

for the purpose of selling it, or transferring it to other facilities or persons to enable that material to be prepared for reuse or recycling.

A materials facility does not include a bring site as defined in section 45C(7) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Mixed dry recyclable waste: Dry recyclable waste material that consists of two or more dry waste streams mixed together.

Non-recyclable material: Waste material that is not capable of being recycled.

Non-target material: A material that is capable of being recycled but is not a target material for the MF.

Output material: A batch of material that is produced from a separating process for dry recyclable waste at a MF and is made up of one of the following kinds of target material in the largest proportion:

a. glass,

b. metals,

c. plastics,

d. paper,

e. card (including cardboard),

f. fibre-based composite material.

Packaging: all products made of any materials of any nature to be used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery or presentation of goods, from raw materials to processed goods, from the producer to the user or the consumer, including non-returnable items used for those purposes, but only where the products are:

a. primary packaging, which is packaging conceived so as to constitute a sales unit to the final user or consumer at the point of purchase;

b. secondary packaging, which is packaging that—

i. is conceived so as to constitute at the point of purchase a grouping of a certain number of sales units, whether that grouping is supplied as such to the final user or consumer or whether it serves only as a means to replenish the shelves at the point of sale; and

ii. can be removed from the product without affecting the product’s characteristics;

c. tertiary packaging, which is packaging that—

i. is conceived so as to facilitate the handling and transport of a number of sales units or secondary packaging in order to prevent damage from physical handling and transport damage; and

ii. is not a road, rail, ship or air container, or shipment packaging;

d. shipment packaging, which is packaging in addition to primary packaging on items which—

i. are sold online or by mail order; and

ii. are either delivered directly to the purchaser or collected by the purchaser from a shop or other collection point after they have been purchased.

The following items are also to be treated as packaging on the basis of the criteria set out below—

a. items that are within the definition in paragraph (1), without prejudice to other functions which the item in question may perform, unless the item is an integral part of a product and it is necessary to contain, support or preserve that product throughout its lifetime and all elements are intended to be used, consumed or disposed of together;

b. items designed and intended to be filled at the point of sale and disposable items supplied, filled or designed and intended to be filled at the point of sale, provided they fulfil a packaging function described in paragraph (1);

c. packaging components and ancillary elements integrated into packaging are considered to be part of the packaging into which they are integrated, and ancillary elements hung directly on, or attached to, a product which performs a packaging function are considered to be packaging unless (in either case) they are an integral part of the product and all elements are intended to be used, consumed or disposed of together.

Pollution prevention and control (PPC) permit: A permit issued under regulation 13 of the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations 2012

Recycling: Any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes.

Reporting year: 1 April to 31 March in the following year

SEPA: The Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Separately collected waste: Waste collected and transported in accordance with section 34(2I) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Single stream: A single dry waste stream.

Supplier: In relation to a batch of dry recyclable waste received at a MF:

a. Where that batch comprises material collected pursuant to arrangements made by a waste collection authority under section 45(1)(a) or (b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, that authority is the supplier.

b. Where that batch has been transferred from another MF, the operator of the MF from which that material was transferred is the supplier.

c. In any other case, the person or organisation who collected the material or, if that person or organisation is not known, the person or organisation responsible for delivering it to the MF is the supplier.

Where the batch comprises material from more than one supplier, and the proportion of that batch attributable to a particular supplier cannot accurately be ascertained, a reasonable estimate of the proportion is sufficient.

Target material: A material that is specifically targeted by the authorised MF operator of a materials facility as destined to be separated out from other material to facilitate its recycling.

Waste-management licence: A licence issued under section 36 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.


Email: producerresponsibility@gov.scot

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