Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging is a policy tool which transfers the full net cost of the collection, sorting, and treatment costs of packaging waste from the taxpayer to specific members of the supply chain.
In the UK EPR for packaging system, there is a single point of compliance where one business will be responsible for 100% of the packaging they place onto UK markets. This differs from the previous shared responsibility system where costs are shared throughout the supply chain.
Due to a single point of compliance, rather than shared, businesses that are obligated under EPR are likely to see their compliance costs increase significantly. Those that are deemed responsible for consumer primary packaging are likely to see the largest increases. Despite the positive aims of the policy such as reducing packaging waste and increasing recycling rates, there will be financial implications for businesses.
Although the costs of EPR will be high, there is potential for these to be reduced by businesses that can adapt their packaging, reduce their packaging, and offer take back of harder to recycle materials.