On 24 March 2021 the government released the second round of consultations for two inter-connected packaging policy reforms covering Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging and Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A second consultation for consistency in household recycling collections was also released on 7 May 2021.
The results of these consultations will have a huge impact on packaging producer responsibility beyond 2023 as the proposals represent radical reform to the way in which producers are held accountable for the packaging they create/sell.
The EPR for packaging consultation impacts all UK administrations - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The deadline for consultation responses was 4 June 2021.
You can view the original Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging consultation document by clicking here which contains the questions referenced below.
In addition to the written response below, you can also watch this video recording of a webinar presented by policy advisor Louisa Goodfellow and head of innovation and policy Robbie Staniforth to inform stakeholders about the Ecosurety response to the Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging consultation, released in March 2021.
The EPR consultation will have the biggest impact on packaging in the UK of all the changes cited by government. We believe the UK-wide system that covers the full net cost of packaging placed on the market proposed by UK Governments is the right system to pursue.
The biggest challenge will be the creation of a new Scheme Administrator that will perform several vital functions in the new system. We must ensure that they are focused on the biggest changes: to Local Authority collection funding, communication campaigns and strategic oversight. This allows producer responsibility organisations to deploy their expertise on packaging collections from non-residential locations, helping producers to register their data and auditing of recycling.
This article outlines our full consultation response which we openly shared ahead of the consultation deadline to encourage other people to use it for their own response, if they were aligned with our views. We hope this encouraged wider participation to the consultation to maximise representativity of each stakeholder group. Please note that we only responded to the questions that were relevant for us to feedback on.
Question 6: Do you agree or disagree with the proposed framework for setting packaging targets?
We agree. A UK-wide system is vital, therefore, targets need to be for all packaging placed on the market in the UK, regardless of DRS or EPR.
Closed-loop targets require careful consideration. Glass re-melt type targets welcome, however, “closed-loop” is not always the best environmental outcome from packaging formats. Recycled packaging displacing virgin materials in non-packaging applications play an important part in a broader circular economy.
Question 7: Do you agree or disagree that the business packaging waste recycling targets set for 2022 should be rolled over to the calendar year 2023?
We agree. The consultation proposes that the EPR system will be phased in throughout 2023. ‘Business targets’ will still have to be in place so the current PRN system can be legally operational until EPR is fully embedded.
The magnitude of exempt packaging in 2023 due to the possible launch of the Scottish DRS in 2022 is unknown. Therefore, we urge a cautious approach to any potential increases, given highly recycled containers may be lost to the system.
Question 8: Do you agree or disagree that the recycling target to be met by 2030 for aluminium could be higher than the rate in Table 3?
We agree. We agree that material in scope of the EPR system (such as foils and aerosols) have a much lower recycling rate. However, the recycling potential of this material is very high. We recommend the comparatively low target for 2025 and a reassessment for 2030 when better data becomes available after the new system commences. We anticipate data will indicate the need for a higher recycling rate for this material by 2030, especially given the likely growth in incinerator bottom ash.
Question 9: Do you agree or disagree with the proposed minimum target to be met by 2030 for glass set out in table 3?
We agree. While glass packaging left in EPR is likely to be lower quality than glass in DRS, we agree they are still readily recyclable and higher quality processes (re-melt) should be prioritised.
Question 10: What should the glass re-melt target for 2030 for non-bottle packaging be set at?
The 2021/2022 glass re-melt target is 72%. We suggest the 2030 target should be around 75-80%. Any higher may be unachievable, as bottle glass will not count towards it and this constitutes most of the glass packaging placed on the market. Furthermore, the Government should take measures in their consistency framework and DRS scheme to retain a large particle size through the collection/sorting process. It is vital that material arrives with a particle size greater than 10mm to ensure colour sorting and make closed-loop (re-melt) recycling viable.
Question 11: Do you agree or disagree with the proposed minimum target to be met by 2030 for plastic set out in table 3?
Question 12: Do you think a higher recycling target should be set for wood in 2030 than the minimum rate shown in Table 3?
We agree. The suggested target has been increased minimally to avoid the unintended consequence of incentivising recycling and other forms of disposal, over re-use. While we see the logic, there is also a risk that a low target will not prioritise recycling over energy generation applications, which in our experience has historically been the bigger industry issue. We must depart from following our European counterparts strategy of burning wood and focus efforts on recycling by introducing a higher than proposed target.
Question 13: If higher recycling targets are to be set for 2030, should a sub-target be set that encourages long term end markets for recycled wood?
We are unsure. While end-market development is welcomed, as cited in 4.29, greater reuse is a more important activity to prioritise than waste wood end-market recycling development, which is very well advance in the UK compared to global counterparts.
Question 14: Do you agree or disagree with the proposed minimum target to be met by 2030 for steel set out in table 3?
We agree. Steel required a high target to ensure greater recycling of non-FMCG packaging, e.g. paint. However, the established recycling protocols will need to be revisited to take account for high recycling rates and non-reporting of smaller scrap yards.
Question 15: Do you agree or disagree with the proposed minimum target to be met by 2030 for paper/card set out in table 3?
We agree. Target is likely to be achieved, especially if fibre-based composites does not fall within the category. However, the contamination of paper/card by the potential co-mingling of flexible plastics remains a concern. Separate collection systems are required for paper/card to meet the minimum target by 2030.
Question 16: Do you agree or disagree with the proposal to set recycling targets for fibre-based composites?
We agree. Given a specialist recycling process is required for this material, we agree with the proposal for separate targets. In addition, there must be a clear definition of this material in legislation and guidance to ensure only target material is considered to be “composite”. It is unclear whether liquid carton board is targeted or a broader definition of plastic/aluminium coated board. We recommend a definition is developed based on weight/proportion on non-fibre in packaging.
Question 17: Do you agree or disagree that there may be a need for 'closed loop' recycling targets for plastics, in addition to the Plastics Packaging Tax?
We neither agree nor disagree. We believe a decision on such a target should be assessed once the effectiveness of the plastic packaging tax is analysed. A closed loop target may be required but 2025 is likely to be the earliest point for a decision to be made.
Question 18: Please indicate other packaging material that may benefit from 'closed loop' targets?
We are not sure. A closed loop is not always the most desirable outcome for packaging as it oversimplifies the flow of material in a circular economy. We advocate the highest (economic and environmental) value applications being prioritised.
Question 101: Which of the definitions listed below most accurately defines reusable packaging that could be applied to possible future reuse/refill targets or obligations in regulations?
B. Although we have left the EU, their definition is the simplest and clearest so should be adopted. The additional 3 criteria in Annex II of the PPWD also help to ensure they are genuinely reused and designed with end-of-life in mind.
Question 102: Do you have any views on any of the listed approaches, or any alternative approaches, for setting reuse and refill targets and obligations? Please provide evidence where possible to support your views.
Mandating products to be delivered in reusable/refillable packaging is the most sensible option to explore further. Reusable/refillable packaging requires additional stimulus that it receives in a weight-based target system. The durability of such packaging means they are likely to be heavier. Even though a producer may place fewer items onto the market (than a single-use alternative), they may still end up with a greater placed on market figure, especially when the year they make a switch of format. A further incentive is required.
Question 103: Do you agree or disagree that the Scheme Administrator should proactively fund the development and commercialisation of reuse systems?
We neither agree nor disagree. The scheme administrator has significant challenges ahead in all governance options proposed. While there may be some benefit in this proposal, it should form a low priority compared to the other facets of the systems that the Scheme Administrator oversees. Furthermore, the market has delivered re-use systems (e.g. SodaStream, coffee cups) and new ones are also emerging (e.g. Waitrose trial).
Question 19: Do you agree or disagree that Brand Owners are best placed to respond effectively and quickly to incentives that are provided through the scheme?
We agree. The shift to six producer types will provide a significant interpretation challenge for producers, compared to the established system of shared responsibility. However, the broad definition of brand-owner proposed does have the greatest influence on the problematic primary packaging.
Question 20: Are there any situations where the proposed approach to imports would result in packaging being imported into the UK which does not pick up an obligation (except if the importer or first-owner is below the de-minimis, or if the packaging is subsequently exported)?
We are not sure. This needs further consideration with stakeholders within the supply chain. From the proposed system in the consultation, it looks as if all imported packaging will be captured, although runs the risk of being overly complicated.
Question 21: Of Options 2 and 3, which do you think would be most effective at both capturing more packaging in the system and ensuring the smallest businesses are protected from excessive burden?
Option 2. As “distributors” are already named actors in the system, as one of the size producer-types, and sell directly to businesses that may be below the de minimis, we recommend this option. The governance option of Scheme Administrator and compliance schemes makes lowering the de minimis achievable as compliance schemes have the resources to register the additional producers and help distributors understand their new obligations.
Question 22: If either Option 2 or 3 is implemented, do you consider there to be a strong case to also reduce the de-minimis threshold as set out in Option 1?
Yes. The current de-minimis allows for a lot of packaging to be unaccounted for within the producer responsibility system. Lowering it to the proposed threshold will capture significant packaging volumes that will be paid for by brand-owners in the same way as the rest of the in-scope material. This therefore reduces the tonnage of packaging that will have to be funded by distributors or manufacturers/ importers, lowering the risk of reporting/ financing complications. The governance option of Scheme Administrator and compliance schemes makes lowering the de minimis achievable as compliance schemes have the resources to register the additional producers and help distributors understand their new obligations.
Question 23: Do you think that Online Marketplaces should be obligated for unfilled packaging in addition to filled packaging?
Yes. There has been much industry concern over online market-places and the lack of a level playing field. Under the proposed system, online market-places will pick up the obligation of overseas packaging producers who products they convey. This will both obligate firms not previously regulated, and capture more packaging.
Question 24: Do you foresee any issues with Online Marketplaces not being obligated for packaging sold through their platforms by UK-based businesses?
Yes. Dependent on the de minimis changes, it may be difficult/impractical to capture packaging sold by small UK-based businesses.
Question 25: This proposal will require Online Marketplaces to assess what packaging data they can collate and then, where there are gaps to work together to create a methodology for how they will fill those gaps. Do you think there are any barriers to Online Marketplaces developing a methodology in time for the start of the 2022 reporting year (January 2022)?
No. The use of estimations must be time-limited.
Question 26: Is there any packaging that would not be reported by the obligation as proposed below (except for packaging that is manufactured and sold by businesses who sit below the de-minimis)?
Ecosurety is unsure. This will require further analysis. On paper, the proposed system appears to capture all packaging.
Question 27: Do you agree or disagree that the Allocation Method should be removed?
We agree. The current Allocation Method reduces the financial and administrative burden on producers that are slightly above the current de-minimis. It is our view that the concept of EPR is to ensure that producers are directly responsible for the amount and type of packaging they place on the market, so an Allocation Method is counter to this. The proposed options for the de-minimis in the consultation should ensure small producers are not overly burdened.
Question 28: Do you agree or disagree that a mandatory, producer-led takeback obligation should be placed on sellers of filled disposable paper cups?
Question 29: Do you agree or disagree with the proposed phased approach to introducing the takeback obligation, with larger businesses/sellers of filled disposable paper cups obligated by the end of 2023, and the obligation extended to all sellers of filled disposable paper cups by the end of 2025?
We disagree. To ensure a widespread collection network, all businesses need to be in scope and proving containers for citizens from the launch of the mandatory scheme. Although, the carrier bag charge was successful in employing a phased approach, we believe progress could have been quicker with smaller retailers included at an earlier stage.
Question 30: Do you think that the proposed strategic frameworks will result in a fair and effective system to modulate producer fees being established?
Question 31: Do you agree or disagree that the Scheme Administrator should decide what measures should be taken to adjust fees if a producer has been unable to self-assess, or provides inaccurate information? This is in addition to any enforcement that might be undertaken by the regulators.
We agree. We believe the proposed strategic framework is not overly prescriptive and allows for flexibility in the modulation and modulation criteria. This is essential for changes in the packaging market and recycling technologies in the future. It also gives much of the decision-making responsibility to the scheme administrator, who will be best placed to oversee this system.
Question 32: Do you agree or disagree with our preferred approach (Option 1) to implementing mandatory labelling?
We agree. Both options represent a pragmatic approach to ensuring there is a binary label. However, option 1 represents a more nimble approach to labelling over the coming years.
Question 33: Do you agree or disagree with the proposal that all producers could be required to use the same 'do not recycle' label?
We agree. Both options represent a pragmatic approach to ensuring there is a binary label. However, option 1 represents a more nimble approach to labelling over the coming years.
Question 34: Do you think that the timescales proposed provide sufficient time to implement the new labelling requirements?
We are unsure. Further discussion needed with stakeholders, to gauge how easy it would be to change labelling systems.
Question 35: Do you agree or disagree that the labelling requirement should be placed on businesses who sell unfilled packaging directly to small businesses?
We agree. These businesses would be best places to ensure the correct labelling present on all packaging. However, it is unclear how this would work concerning businesses selling from abroad. The alternative of labelling later in the supply chain is likely to involved stickers that decrease the material’s recyclability and therefore suboptimal.
Question 36: Do you think it would be useful to have enhancements on labels, such as including 'in the UK' and making them digitally enabled?
Yes. We believe that technologies such as QR codes are fast becoming the norm for consumer access to information. Building this into the system now will be a beneficial exercise to future-proof such inevitable developments. This could also align with labelling requirements of the DRS, if a digital system is implemented.
Question 37: Do you agree or disagree that local authorities across the UK who do not currently collect plastic films in their collection services should adopt the collection of this material no later than end of financial year 2026/27?
We agree. Industry effort in this area means much progress has been made in recycling technologies and secondary markets. However, the lack of consistent collection poses a risk to the long-term prospects of film/flexible recycling. Therefore, we strongly advocate all local authorities collect by 2026/2027 as a minimum. Furthermore, we believe the Scheme Administrator should be set an annual target by Government for the percentage of Local Authorities collecting from go-live to March 2027.
Question 38: Do you agree or disagree that collections of plastic films and flexibles from business premises across the UK could be achieved by end of financial year 2024/5?
We agree. Commercial contracts are more flexible, so we agree with earlier timescales. Compliance schemes competitively managing business waste on behalf of producers is likely to speed up this transition. Introducing mandatory business collection of films should galvanize the end-markets ahead of 2026/2027 deadline for Local Authorities.
Question 39: Do you agree or disagree that there should be an exemption from the ‘do not recycle’ label for biodegradable/compostable packaging that is filled and consumed (and collected and taken to composting/anaerobic digestion facilities that accept it), in closed loop situations where reuse or recycling options are unavailable?
We agree. Composting is part of the recycling definition, and where it can be proven that recycling takes place, an exemption should apply. We anticipate that this exemption will be very narrow in scope with clear rules and guidelines set by the Scheme Administrator.
Question 40: Do you consider that any unintended consequences may arise as a result of the proposed approach to modulated fees for compostable and biodegradable plastic packaging?
Yes. The consultation proposes that as most biodegradable/ compostable packaging is unfit for plastic recycling processes, it will attract the highest fee. Although we agree that under the modulation framework this will be necessary, it will unfairly burden an industry of producers of biodegradable/ compostable packaging types that are in fact more sustainable than standard plastic ones.
More research needs to be done into the potential harmful effects of these packaging formats, after which modulation can be adjusted accordingly. We recommend that the Scheme Administrator outline acceptable food contact/bio waste carrying applications for such materials, ensuring they receive an appropriately low modulate fee.
Question 41: Do you agree or disagree with the proposed definition and scope of necessary costs?
We agree. Although we agree, the proportioning of costs relating to packaging versus non-target material also collection as part of the same activity requires significant scrutiny and modelling to ensure packaging producers do not pay more than the necessary costs.
Question 42: Do you agree or disagree that payments should be based on good practice, efficient and effective system costs and relevant peer benchmarks?
Question 43: Do you agree or disagree that the per tonne payment to local authorities for packaging materials collected and sorted for recycling should be net off an average price per tonne for each material collected?
We agree. If the per tonne payments were calculated on a regional level, this could cause unfair inequities between local authorities.
Question 44: Do you agree or disagree that the Scheme Administrator should have the ability to apply incentive adjustments to local authority payments to drive performance and quality in the system?
We agree. This could help level the playing field between better resourced and lesser resourced local authorities after consistent collections are operational.
Question 45: Do you agree or disagree that local authorities should be given reasonable time and support to move to efficient and effective systems and improve their performance before incentive adjustments to payments are applied?
We disagree. Incentives should be clear from go-live.
Question 46: Should individual local authorities be guaranteed a minimum proportion of their waste management cost regardless of performance?
We are unsure. A minimum payment could provide an initial boost in LA service and operational efficiency. However, this payment should be very low so as not to undermine the potential financial incentives available to LA and result in a lack of organisational motivation.
Question 47: Do you agree or disagree that there should be incentive adjustments or rewards to encourage local authorities to exceed their modelled recycling benchmarks?
Question 48: Do you agree or disagree that unallocated payments should be used to help local authorities meet their recycling performance benchmarks, and contribute to Extended Producer Responsibility outcomes through wider investment and innovation, where it provides value for money?
We agree. A standardized framework to determine ‘value for money’ is required.
Question 49: Do you agree or disagree that residual payments should be calculated using modelled costs of efficient and effective systems based on the average composition of packaging waste within the residual stream?
We agree. We believe this would be the simplest way to achieve accurate as possible residual costs.
Question 50: Do you agree or disagree that a disposal authority within a two-tier authority area (England only) should receive the disposal element of the residual waste payment directly?
We agree. We do not see a benefit in intermediaries taking and passing on the payment.
Question 51: Do you agree or disagree that there remains a strong rationale for making producers responsible for the costs of managing packaging waste produced by businesses?
We agree. We believe the rationale is the application of the polluter pays principle. However, before this is implemented much more consideration needs to be given to the cost implications, and how the business disposal system currently works.
Question 52: Do you agree or disagree that all commercial and industrial packaging should be in scope of the producer payment requirements except where a producer has the necessary evidence that they have paid for its management directly?
We agree. Further research is required into the composition and collection arrangements of C&I packaging.
Question 53: Which approach do you believe is most suited to deliver the outcomes being sought below?
Option 2. In short, we believe the expertise PCS hold will be essential for many of the activities listed such as reporting and administering financing. This will also allow enough Scheme Administrator resource to concentrate on strategic oversight and LA payments.
Question 54: Do you disagree strongly with any of the options listed in the previous question?
Yes. Given the plethora of responsibilities of the Scheme Administrator, it is impractical for it to undertake the activities within the business waste system.
Question 55: Do you think there will be any issues with not having either Packaging Recovery Notes/Packaging Export Recovery Notes or the business payment mechanism (and as a result recycling targets) in place for a short period of time?
Yes. There needs to be a clear date set where one system ends and another begins. We suggest this is 1st January 2024.
Question 56: Do you agree or disagree with the proposal to introduce a sampling regime for packaging as an amendment to the MF Regulations in England, Wales and Scotland and incorporation into new or existing regulations in Northern Ireland?
We agree. Robust sampling will be key to overlaying EPR on the existing collection systems in the UK.
Question 57: Do you agree or disagree with the proposal to require all First Points of Consolidation to be responsible for sampling and reporting in accordance with a new packaging waste sampling and reporting regime?
We tentatively agree with this, as it would be a clear message as to where sampling is conducted. However, more discussion needs to be had on any unintended consequences this might have.
Question 58: Do you agree or disagree that the existing MF Regulations’ de-minimis threshold of facilities that receive 1000 tonnes or more per annum of mixed waste material would need to be removed or changed to capture all First Points of Consolidation?
We agree. It is important that the tracking of packaging items from market to disposal is as clear as possible. The data being fed back to the SA also needs to be robust.
Question 59: Do you think the following list of materials and packaging formats should form the basis for a manual sampling protocol?
Question 60: Do you think it is feasible to implement more rigorous sampling arrangements within 6-12 months of the regulations being in place?
Yes. Ramping up this activity is a relatively easy activity compared to man of the other changes.
Question 61: Do you think visual detection technology should be introduced from 2025 to further enhance the sampling regime?
Question 62: Do you think existing packaging proportion protocols used by reprocessors would provide a robust and proportionate system to estimate the packaging content of source segregated materials?
Yes, with refinement. Protocols require further scrutiny to ensure they are sufficiently robust given the extra money in, and complexity of, the new system.
Question 63: Do you agree or disagree that minimum output material quality standards should be set for sorted packaging materials at a material facility?
We agree. The quality standards benchmark for sorting must be raised in a new EPR system.
Question 64: Do you agree or disagree that material facilities that undertake sorting prior to sending the material to a reprocessor or exporter should have to meet those minimum standards in addition to just assessing and reporting against them?
We agree. The standards should be universal across all sorting activities.
Question 65: Do you think any existing industry grades and standards could be used as minimal output material quality standards?
We are unsure.
Question 66: Do you agree or disagree that local authority payments should be made quarterly, on a financial year basis?
Question 67: Do you agree or disagree that household and business packaging waste management payments should be based on previous year’s data?
We agree. We have significant experience in handling “in-year” data under producer responsibility regulations for batteries. The difficulties in invoicing always outweigh the benefit of “live” data.
Question 68: Do you agree or disagree that the costs of litter management should be borne by the producers of commonly littered items based on their prevalence in the litter waste stream as determined by a composition analysis which is described in option 2?
We agree. Option 2 looks most pragmatic.
Question 69: In addition to local authorities, which of the following duty bodies do you agree should also receive full net cost payments for managing littered packaging? Please select all that apply.
Question 70: Do you agree or disagree that producers should contribute to the costs of litter prevention and management activities on other land?
We disagree. We believe this goes beyond the remit of the polluter pays principle. Option 2 looks most pragmatic.
Question 71: Do you agree or disagree that local authority litter payments should be linked to improved data reporting?
We agree. Linking payments to performance will provide the greatest incentive.
Question 72: Do you agree or disagree that payments should be linked to standards of local cleanliness over time?
We agree. This should be done some years after EPR has been implemented in 2023, as the level of data will be robust enough to justify this. Other factors such as rurality and socio-economic indicators must necessarily be considered, so these payments are equitable. Payment on results principle should apply.
Question 73: Do you agree or disagree that the functions relating to the management of producer obligations in respect of household packaging waste and litter including the distribution of payments to local authorities are managed by a single organisation?
We agree. These activities should be overseen by the SA, as they will need strong working relationships and communication channels between the stakeholders.
Question 74: Overall which governance and administrative option do you prefer?
Option 2. The complexity of the EPR system will need to be managed by both the private and public sector. Strategic/ top-level considerations should be dealt with the public sector, whereas managed competition in other areas has precedence in delivering better outcomes – such as within innovation and recycling technologies.
PCS already have the skills, resources, and systems in place to manage activities such as data reporting. We are fully supportive of instigating a higher standard for PCS approval.
Question 75: How do you think in-year cost uncertainty to producers could be managed?
Question 76: Under Option 1, does the proposed initial contract period of 8-10 years (2023 to 2030/32) provide the necessary certainty for the Scheme Administrator to adopt a strategic approach to the management and delivery of its functions and make the investments necessary to deliver targets and outcomes?
Question 77: Under Option 2, does the proposed initial contract period of 8-10 years (2023 to 2030/32) provide the necessary certainty for the Scheme Administrator to adopt a strategic approach to the management and delivery of its functions and make the investments necessary to deliver targets and outcomes?
Question 78: Do you agree or disagree with the timeline proposed for the appointment of the Scheme Administrator?
Agree. Given the appointment timeline, we recommend new system goes live on 1st January 2024.
Question 79: If the Scheme Administrator is appointed in January 2023 as proposed, would it have sufficient time to mobilise in order to make payments to local authorities from October 2023?
No. If limited scope under business waste payments, possibly. If running entire system, it is highly unlikely.
Question 80: Do you agree or disagree with the approval criteria proposed for compliance schemes?
Question 81: Should Government consider introducing a Compliance Scheme Code of Practice and/or a ‘fit and proper person’ test?
Question 82: Do you agree or disagree with the proposed reporting requirements for Option 1?
Question 83: Do you agree or disagree with the proposed reporting requirements for Option 2?
Question 84: Do you agree or disagree with the proposal that all reprocessors and exporters handling packaging waste will be required to register with a regulator?
Question 85: Do you agree or disagree that all reprocessors and exporters should report on the quality and quantity, of packaging waste received?
Question 87: Do you think contractual arrangements between reprocessors and material facilities or with waste collectors and carriers are a suitable means for facilitating the apportionment and flow of recycling data back through the system to support Extended Producer Responsibility payment mechanisms, incentives and targets?
Question 88: Do you agree or disagree that exporters should be required to provide evidence that exported waste has been received and processed by an overseas reprocessor?
Question 89: Do you agree or disagree that only packaging waste that has achieved end of waste status should be able to be exported and count towards the achievement of recycling targets?
Question 90: Do you agree or disagree that there should be a mandatory requirement for exporters to submit fully completed Annex VII forms, contracts and other audit documentation as part of the supporting information when reporting on the export of packaging waste?
We agree. Waste being exported that does not comply with these conditions, and may therefore be irresponsibly treated, would not be in line with EPR objectives.
Question 91: Do you agree or disagree that regulators seek to undertake additional inspections of receiving sites, via 3rd party operators?
Question 92: Do you agree or disagree with the proposed approach to regulating the packaging Extended Producer Responsibility system?
We agree. The regulators need to be fully resourced in order to undertake effective enforcement. Increased data traceability and analysis will go some way to ensuring wrong-doing/ unintentional non-compliance is identified quickly. Using PCS as a resource to identify non-compliance may also be useful.
Question 93: Do you have further suggestions on what environmental regulators should include in their monitoring and inspection plans that they do not at present?
Question 94: In principle, what are your views if the regulator fees and charges were used for enforcement?
We support this.
Question 95: Would you prefer to see an instant monetary penalty for a non-compliance, or another sanction as listed below, such as prosecution?
An instant monetary penalty in the first instance, but persistent non-compliance should be prosecuted.
Question 96: Do you agree or disagree with the activities that the Scheme Administrator would need to undertake in order to make initial payments to local authorities in 2023 (as described above under Phase 1)?
Question 97: Do you think a phased approach to the implementation of packaging Extended Producer Responsibility, starting in 2023 is feasible and practical?
No. It should come in on 1st January 2024.
Question 98: Do you prefer a phased approach to implementing Extended Producer Responsibility starting in 2023 with partial recovery of the costs of managing packaging waste from households or later implementation, which could enable full cost recovery for household packaging waste from the start?
B. Later implementation. This needs further consideration in terms of potential delays concerning other system (e.g. DRS) and the consequences of this.
Question 99: Of the options presented for reporting of packaging data for 2022 which do you prefer?
Option 2. We feel it would cause unnecessary complications to change the reporting requirements under the Packaging Waste Directive, for one year.
Question 100: Are there other datasets required to be reported by producers in order for the Scheme Administrator to determine the costs to be paid by them in 2023?
On 26 March 2022 government published their response to the EPR for packaging consultation. You can read our essential summary guide for producers of this response by clicking here.
Innovation and policy director
Having spent years building an intimate understanding of the industry’s policies and politics, Robbie uses this knowledge to help shape new legislation and oversees Ecosurety’s growing portfolio of cross-industry innovation projects .