This page has been updated, since its original publication on 3rd August 2023 about deferral of packaging producers’ payments.  It also covers REA’s 9th October response to government’s consultation on draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations and our 27th October response to their draft list of 13 packaging materials to disincentivise.  Members with access to REA’s Organics, Biogas and Green Gas fora can view our responses by logging into our website.

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Deferral of packaging producers’ payments

On 25th July, Defra and Rebecca Pow MP announced that ‘following extensive engagement with industry, and in light of the pressure facing consumers and businesses in the current economic context, new [UK-wide] rules to ensure packaging producers pay for the cost of recycling their packaging will be deferred a year from October 2024 to 2025’.

‘Government will use the additional year to continue to discuss the scheme’s design with industry and reduce the costs of implementation wherever possible. In anticipation of EPR, producers have already started to use less packaging and adopt easier to recycle packaging formats, and we expect this process to continue – ensuring that costs are not then passed onto households later on.’

‘This decision to defer producer payments has been taken jointly with the devolved administrations and will provide industry, local authorities and waste management companies with more time to prepare to ensure the success of the scheme, helping make sure it is best designed to deliver on long term recycling goals while supporting households with the immediate challenge of high prices caused by inflation.’

More concisely, in its Collection and Packaging Reforms newsletter sent to subscribers on 26th July (click here to subscribe) Defra wrote: ‘The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging payments will be deferred for 12 months, but work to design, develop and implement the scheme will continue during this period. This means producers obligated to pay packaging waste fees will now not need to make payments until October 2025 for 2025/26.’

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Consultation on draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations 2024

Following consultations in 2019 and 2021, the UK Government and Devolved Administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales confirmed in March 2022 their proposals to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging.  Since then, they have been developing the draft regulations which will introduce the measures set out in that response.

Announced on 28th July, the UK Government, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland jointly undertook a 10 week consultation on the draft regulations that will implement Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging on a UK-wide basis.

They invited, by close of 9th October 2023, stakeholders’ views on;

  • how the approach set out in the government response to the EPR consultation held in March 2022 has been reflected in these draft regulations and how easy they will be to implement, and
  • how clear the draft regulations are about the relevant responsibilities of producers, exporters, reprocessors, compliance schemes, local authorities and councils and the scheme administrator.

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