You are here: Home / News / Closed-Loop Recycling: Defra Seeks Input on Proposed Amendments to EPR
Supermarket Packaging Waste Trolley

Closed-Loop Recycling: Defra Seeks Input on Proposed Amendments to EPR

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has recently sought additional insights following the consultation on the draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations. Notably, Defra is exploring the implementation of provisions to support more closed-loop recycling systems, reflecting feedback received during the legislative consultation.

In response to industry input, the government is considering a ‘narrow expansion’ of offsetting provisions. This proposed adjustment aims to support producers engaged in closed-loop systems, allowing them to exclude relevant materials from household collection fee obligations. This move would align with the environmental objectives of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

The proposed amendments would impact the draft regulations, enabling producers to offset some of their household disposal fees obligations under specific circumstances. For instance, when the material isn’t collected by more than 75% of local authorities or when packaging items are designed for reuse or refilling.

To gather comprehensive insights, Defra invites businesses and stakeholders to participate in a survey aimed at understanding how closed-loop recycling can be accommodated within the EPR framework.

What is closed-loop recycling?

Closed-loop recycling systems refer to a sustainable waste management approach where a product’s materials are collected, processed, and remanufactured into new products within the same product category. This approach ensures a continuous flow of resources, minimising the strain on natural resources and supporting the transition towards a circular economy.

Close-loop recycling provisions could apply to ‘producers’ collecting their own packaging waste, and utilising recyclate to manufacture new products.

What does this mean for packaging producers?

This approach could potentially mean that packaging producers obligated under EPR have an opportunity to offset disposal fees through responsible waste management within their operations as well as actively contributing to the move to a circular economy.

Martin Trigg-Knight, Director of Compliance Services, Clarity Environmental commented:

It’s good to see the possible incentivisation of closed-loop recycling systems in Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging policy framework. We believe that offsetting Local Authority Waste Management fees through producer-led recycling programs aligns with the objectives of pEPR set out by the Government in 2018. This part of Defra's engagement with the industry reflects a more thoughtful approach to the implementation of the UK's EPR for Packaging reforms.

Martin trigg-Knight

Director of Compliance Services at Clarity Environmental

Related News & Views