The waste sector has expressed disappointment at the announcement that the third element of the Resources and Waste Strategy is to be delayed until after the local elections on 6 May 2021.
The consistency in collections consultation had been expected to be released alongside the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) consultations, which were published on the 24 March. The announcement that it was to be published at a later date left the waste and resources sector questioning the coherence of the changes ahead.
This second round of consultations are imperative for stakeholders to have a final say in how the legislative landscape for the industry will look going forward. With timelines already extremely tight for businesses to prepare, the EPR and DRS consultations only allow for 10 weeks to submit responses, shorter than the usual 12 weeks.
Changes to packaging legislation are set to be introduced in 2023, using a phased approach. With consultation responses published later in the year, businesses will be expected to introduce new systems and measures, as well as budgeting for much higher costs, in just one year. This will also need to be achieved alongside the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax, another large administrative burden and financial cost for producers.
Martin Trigg-Knight, Head of Packaging at Clarity Environmental, highlighted the concerns of submitting informed responses to the current open consultations whilst key information remains unknown.