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Defra opens applications for EPR scheme administrator steering group

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has initiated the application process for membership in the Scheme Administrator (SA) steering group responsible for Packaging Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

What is the function of the EPR ‘Scheme Administrator’?

The establishment of the Extended Producer Responsibility SA has been long-awaited, as it will perform an essential role in overseeing critical functions within the EPR system. This includes the management of the Local Authority Waste Management fees for Local Authorities as well as carrying out efficiency and effectiveness assessments on Local Authority collection systems.

Previously, Defra had asserted that, based on legal counsel, the SA would be from the public sector due to its role in disbursing EPR producer fees to local authorities. However, the ongoing consultation on the clarity of the main EPR statutory instrument and the overall rollout of the new policy could suggest the possibility of industry participation in performing other essential functions.

What is the function of the Scheme Administrator steering group?

According to Defra’s recent announcement, an ‘interim administrator’ will oversee operations in the period leading up to the commencement of fees in October 2025. During this time, the steering group will provide guidance and contribute to shaping the future governance framework for EPR, prior to the formal appointment of an EPR Scheme Administrator. The steering group will include representatives from various sectors, including producer groups, three trade associations, and an environmental non-government organisation.

For those interested in participating in the steering group, we recommend reaching out to Defra who can provide the complete application information via the email address. The application deadline is set for 23:55 on Tuesday, 3rd October 2023.

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