The government has indicated that it is delaying the consultation on reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system. Due to take place in the Autumn this year, the consultation now looks set to be held in early 2021, with a date not yet confirmed.
The UK & Resources Waste strategy was initially published in December 2018, proposing four main areas of reform: Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Deposit Return System, Plastic Tax and consistency of waste collections. The first round of consultation responses was released in July 2019 with the intention of the second round of consultations to be held in February 2020. As a result of Brexit, a General Election and now Covid-19, these next consultations have been pushed back to 2021.
During parliamentary question responses on 22 July 2020, and in reply to a question from Labour MP Olivia Blake about the consultation on consistency in recycling collections, Rebecca Pow said: “The government will be publishing a second consultation in 2021 which will seek views on further details of consistency in recycling.
“A further impact assessment will be published alongside it and will include updated assessments of costs for these measures.”
It is expected that the consultations for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Deposit Return System, and consistency of waste collections consultations will now be held early next year.
News of a delay will be welcomed by some sectors, although it is not yet clear of how this will impact on the implementation dates.