New draft EPR regulations give ‘greater certainty’ to packaging industry

Green groups have welcomed draft EPR regulations, saying they “give much greater certainty” to the packaging industry.

The draft regulations of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – which outline the new producer responsibility obligations for packaging disposal – have been published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

“This is a significant milestone which brings us closer to realising our commitment to introduce packaging Extended Producer Responsibility from 2025,” said Defra.

The aim is for the new rules to come into play across by UK by the start of 2025. It will mean that companies have to report the amount of packaging they place on the market for the period of January – December 2024.

They will then be charged producer fees and have to pay local authorities for managing any packaging waste they have created for the period of April 2025 – March 2026.

Changes to the regulation, following consultation on the packaging EPR, include the addition of recycling targets for 2025-2030 and a provision to make sure packaging producers will be subject to EPR obligations should a deposit return scheme not be introduced by January 2028.

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Also included Is an amendment to the labelling provisions so that all labelling obligations will now come in to force on 1 April 2027

Steve Gough, CEO of Reconomy-owned compliance scheme Valpak, said: “This latest development provides much greater certainty over the timings of the Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging draft regulations and increases the likelihood that it will be up and running by the start of next year.

“Producers should take advantage of this certainty to absorb and familiarise themselves with the legislation to start preparing for its introduction.

“Embracing the legislation proactively will open up opportunities for stakeholders to thrive rather than just survive with the new rules, while placing circularity at the heart of their offering.”

EPR reporting requirements came into force last year.

Circular economyClimate crisisInnovationNature and the environmentNet zeroPolicySocial sustainability

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