The UK responded to the 1994 EU Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste by way of derivative legislation "The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997". The UK in contrast to other EU states has chosen a very unique system. All participants in the chain share the statutory responsibility. The system is open to competition and there are a number of "compliance schemes" to ensure this.
Schemes started in 1997, obligated companies have a choice of registration with a "compliance scheme" or direct registration with the Environment Agency or Scottish Environment Protection Agency or, in Northern Ireland, the Environment and Heritage Service. Either way they will need to register obligatorily under the regulations, but a compliance scheme acts as an intermediary. Seventeen compliance schemes have been registered by the Environment Agency or SEPA and some also operate in Northern Ireland and by the Office of Fair Trading to ensure fair competition.
The UK does not operate a "Green Dot Scheme" along the lines of its European counterparts. The use of the trademark is licensed in the UK for those organisations wishing to display the emblem but the use of the mark is not obligatory in the UK. Management of the trademark is carried out by a subsidiary of Valpak, the Green Dot Licensing Company, and similar licensing arrangements are open to other compliance schemes for their own membership.