Introduction of EPR
A phased introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility will now happen in 2024 rather than 2023. This will see an introduction of payments made to Local Authorities for the full net costs of collecting, handling, and treatment of packaging beginning 1 April 2024.
EPR will move packaging regulations from a system of shared responsibility through the supply chain, to a single point of compliance. This will move the reporting and financial responsibility to brand owners, importers, distributers, online marketplaces, and sellers.
The de minimis for businesses will remain the same as current packaging regulations with payment only required for those businesses placing over 50 tonnes of packaging onto the market and having an annual turnover of two million pounds.
There will be an introduction of a second de minimis which will not require payment but will require reporting of packaging placed on the market by obligated businesses placing 25 tonnes of packaging onto the UK market and with 1 million pounds turnover annually.
Full net cost and consumer impacts
One of the major changes between the first and second consultation has been adjustments to the impact assessment. The cost for producers has reduced, mainly from the changes to business waste being attributed to producers initially, which is no longer being proposed. It will still see the annual costs for obligated businesses rise substantially, approximated to be £1.7 billion.
The impact assessment now estimates the changes to EPR will lead to an increase in average household expenditure by 0.13%, which equates to 78p per week or £41 per year.
Modulated fees, based on recyclability of packaging, will be introduced in 2025, rather than in 2024. Recyclability assessments for packaging reported will be released in October 2024, which will be used to calculate modulated fees. It is proposed the Scheme Administrator will adjust fees for producers who do not self-assess the recyclability of their packaging.
Obligated producers will be required to report on: Plastic, Glass, Steel, Aluminium, Wood, Paper/Card, Fibre based composites, Other.
Additional reporting may include:
- Packaging classed as ‘commonly placed in street bins’
- Additional material information e.g., polymer type
- Primary, Shipment, Secondary or Tertiary packaging
- Evidence regarding whether packaging is likely to end up in the household waste stream
- Separation information regarding all component parts of packaging
- Colour of material
Producers will be required to report both business end use and consumer end use twice a year, instead of the current single report in Q1.
Report in October: packaging data collected from January – June.
Report in April: packaging data collected from July – December.
There may also be an annual requirement for producers to report which part of the UK their packaging is placed into between England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
Payment and evidence
With the introduction of EPR we will have the PRN system continuing to demonstrate recycling obligations have been met by producers. This will run alongside the disposal cost fee paid to the Scheme Administrator.
Producers will be required to pay disposal fees quarterly from April to March based on the packaging they placed on the market in the previous calendar year, determined from 1 April 2024, whereby the fees will be direct to Local Authorities. This is subject to change in the initial year, which will be determined by the mobilisation of the Scheme Administrator. Producers may see two payments in the first year.
The Scheme Administrator will be required to distribute payments to Local Authorities for the full net disposal costs of providing efficient and effective systems for managing household packaging waste.
Other areas of the Resources and Waste Strategy
Consultations were released alongside EPR covering a Deposit Return System (DRS) and Consistency in Collections (CIC). With the delayed release of the EPR consultation Defra also announced the responses for the DRS and CIC will be released in due course.
The EPR consultation stated that the different nations within the UK will collect different materials under a DRS system. Scotland and Wales will continue with a DRS that includes glass whereas England and Northern Ireland will not include glass.
Questions about EPR?
Please get in touch and a member of our team will answer your query as soon as possible.