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Future Legislation

Changes to environmental regulations are coming and will have a lasting effect on those who place packaging onto the UK market.

The reform of the UK Resources and Waste Strategy will see the implementation of new legislations including Extended Producer Responsibility, the Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and consistency in recycling collections. A Plastic Packaging Tax will also be introduced in 2022. Learn more about these areas of future legislation as well as the Environment Bill and the major impact they will have on packaging producers and the recovery and recycling of packaging waste in the UK.

Resources and Waste Strategy

The Resources and Waste Strategy accompanies the Environment Bill, setting out how the UK will meet the ambitious 25-year environment plan and targets.

The Resources and Waste Strategy is accompanied by consultations covering Extended Producer Responsibility, a Deposit Return System and Consistency in Collections. This is the largest legislative change for the resources and waste sector since packaging waste regulations were established in 1997.

The strategy aims to place the UK as a world leader in using resources efficiently and reducing the amount of waste we create as a society. The strategy will establish legislation to prolong the lives of the materials and goods that we use and move society away from the inefficient ‘linear’ economic model of ‘take, make, use, throw’.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Extended Producer Responsibility suggests that businesses who place packaging on to the UK market should be solely responsible for funding the recycling of the materials used. This coincides with the polluter pays principle and is designed to reduce producers putting hard to recycle materials on to the UK market.

The UK government believes that placing the financial responsibility on to businesses who use packaging will incentivise those businesses to look at more sustainable packaging solutions. This would, in theory, reduce the amount of hard to recycle packaging in the UK and encourage packaging that is better for the environment.

Plastic Packaging Tax

From April 2022, the UK Government will be introducing a new tax on plastics known as the Plastic Packaging Tax. Designed to run alongside the Resources and Waste Strategy reform, the Plastic Packaging Tax is aimed at encouraging greater use of recycled plastic with the hope of reducing overall plastic packaging waste.

The UK government believes implementation of these plans will ensure packaging producers make better decisions around the plastic packaging they put on the market, driving businesses to more sustainable packaging solutions.

Clarity Environmental can help your business prepare for the Plastic Packaging Tax, reducing the financial burden on your business. Use the links below to find out more about the tax or contact a member of our team for help and advice.

Environment Bill

The Environment Bill sets out government’s ambition to ensure the environment is protected following the UK’s departure from the EU.

It sets out to ‘enhance wildlife, tackle air pollution, transform how the UK manages its resources and waste, and improve the resilience of water supplies in a changing climate to ensure we protect and restore the natural environment’.

The Environment Bill was first announced in 2018 under former Prime Minister Teresa May but has been delayed and is yet to pass through parliament. It is expected to be read in Spring 2021 with legislation being passed in Autumn 2021.

The Bill will allow an independent Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) to hold governments and public bodies to account for environmental credentials as well as legally binding targets will be introduced for air quality, nature, water and resource and waste efficiency.

Comply with Clarity

Our Comply with Clarity scheme has supported businesses in complying with Producer Responsibility Obligations for both the packaging and WEEE regulations since 2007. With our expert in-house trading team, we provide market-beating fair and competitive pricing, transparent invoicing assurance as well as ethical recycling evidence to our members.