Government Consult on new, Extended Producer Responsibility, EPR, for Packaging and Packaging Waste Recycling in the UK.

By mike sadler
In March 24, 2021
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Today, 24th March 2021, The Government launched a series of Consultations on a new, Extended Producer Responsibility System, EPR, for Packaging and Packaging Waste Recycling in the UK. The proposed new system could be operational as early as late 2023, although timescales are very challenging.

The Governments Proposals as set out in the Consultation, propose packaging producers will be made responsible for the FULL NET costs of managing the packaging they place on the market. Government estimates that their costs will be in the region of £2.7bn in the first full year of implementation.

The proposed new EPR Scheme for Packaging Producers will replace the existing system which has run since 1997 and currently scheduled to commence at the end of 2023.

Key Points Summary:    

  • Proposed new system moves away from a shared producer responsibility across the packaging supply chain, to one single point / company of obligation & costs. Obligations and full net costs to be placed on Brand Holders / Importers.
  • Modulated Fees are proposed, to cover the varying costs associated with different packaging types and its recyclability. Producers whose packaging is easily recyclable will pay lower fee rates, while fee rates for packaging which does not contribute positively to scheme outcomes will be increased (e.g. unrecyclable).
  • Proposed Mandatory Recyclability Labelling to be introduced.
  • Separate Plastic Films and Flexibles should have a separate collection system funded by Producers ASAP, by 2026/27
  •  Bio-degradable, bio-based and compostable plastic packaging is unlikely to be considered recyclable under packaging Extended Producer Responsibility and will therefore attract higher modulated fee rates.
  • A separate consultation has also been launched for the proposed DRS (Deposit Return Scheme) for drinks containers which will operate alongside the new EPR system for Packaging, starting 2024. Click here for full details.

Proposed Timeline

The Government seem to recognise that the timeline is challenging, considering the current climate, and it is subject to many interdependent variables.

Full details of the Consultations Documents can be found by clicking here.

Co2Compliance will be responding to the Government EPR Consultations and would appreciate your input and feedback @ EPR@co2compliance.co.uk by 21st May, in advance of the 4th of June 2021 deadline,

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