Defra launch consultation on the draft EPR regulations
After the date for waste management fees was pushed back, Defra have launched a consultation on the draft EPR Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations.
Since the announcement of the new EPR scheme, the UK government have been working on developing draft regulations which would implement these changes. After feedback from industries, the draft regulations will be in conjunction with co-design workshops with stakeholders to address more technical areas of the draft. They have not yet announced any more information on these sessions.
Why have they launched a consultation for the draft?
The main purpose of the consultation is to gather views on how the approach set out in the previous consultation is reflected in the newer draft regulations. They’re also looking to receive feedback on the “operability of their implementations”. They want to cover how clear the new regulations are in defining the responsibility of producers, exporters, regulators, and other parties involved.
Defra announce delay waste management fees for EPR. Click below to learn more!
What else is planned?
Defra has also stated that they intend to publish separate regulations to amend the 2007 Packaging Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations. This will lay out and introduce new packaging waste recycling targets for 2024. They include recycling targets for 2025 to 2030 in the draft regulations they are consulting on. In terms of the March 2022 Final Impact Assessment (FIA), they state that an updated version of the FIA will be published once the draft regulations are laid in Parliament.
Who can respond to the consultation on the draft EPR regulations?
Defra have stated that they’re welcoming responses:
- Businesses who take part in designing, production, and specification of packaging.
- Businesses who manufacture products and place them into packaging or have their products placed in packaging on their behalf. The products need to then be on the UK market.
- Retailers, online marketplaces and importers of unfilled packaging and packaged products.
- Local authorities
- Packaging compliance schemes
- Organisations that are involved in the management and recycling of packaging waste. This includes waste management companies, brokers, exporters, and reprocessors.
- Other organisations, non-governmental organisations, consultants, and charitable organisations that have an interest in how the UK manages packaging waste.
- Members of the public.
How can I respond to the consultation?
There are a couple of ways you can respond to the consultation. It’s important to note that if any of the information you provide could be confidential, you’ll need to say so clearly in writing when you submit your response. You’ll also need to explain why those details are confidential. Any responses need to have arrived at their address by 9th October 2023 in order for them to be counted.
If you’re looking to respond online, you can use the Citizen Space Consultation hub at Defra https://consult.defra.gov.uk/ or email email@example.com. If you want to respond in writing, you can send a letter to:
Collection and Packaging Reform
Extended Producer Responsibility Team, Defra,
2 Marsham Street
What will happen after the consultation?
The consultation period will end on 9th October 2023. After the consultation period, all responses will be reviewed by Defra and they will make changes to the draft regulations where they are needed. Once the World Trade Organisation (WTO and the European Union (EU) have been notified, the draft regulations will be made publicly available. They are expecting this to be Spring 2024.
Want to learn more about EPR? Check out our guide below!
What do the draft EPR regulations include?
The draft regulations set out obligations on producers to collect and report data. The draft regulations mirror the requirements in the Data Regulations 2023. However, there are changes to fill in any gaps in data collection and reporting obligations. The draft regulations also include provisions to:
- Enable the appointment of a Scheme Administrator.
- Allow this administrator to raise fees from obligated producers. These will cover local authority costs for managing household and binned packaging waste, public information campaigns and any other operational costs.
- Put recycling targets in place for producers. This will cover all types of packaging waste, such as primary, shipment and both household and non-household waste.
- Require labelling on certain types of packaging waste to ensure clear recycling instructions.
- Introduce a mandatory takeback and recycling requirement for fibre-composite cups.
- Require all reprocessors and exporters handling packaging waste to register with a regulator. They will then need to report data and have the choice to become accredited and issue recycling evidence.
- Allow for regulators to effectively monitor compliance and efficiently enforce the draft regulations.
The regulations also include a broad definition of household packaging. However, lots of producers have raised concerns with this. So, Defra will be exploring as to whether they can refine the definition.
They have also provided clarification on the creation of Packaging Waste Export Notes (PERNs). They state that proof or receipt will be required, but this will not need to be submitted in real time in order for PERNs to be issued.
Navigating EPR and the Packaging Waste Regulations can be difficult. That’s where Flame UK comes in. Our team of experts are on hand to support your business, every step of its journey. Whether that’s calculating your obligation or purchasing PRNs. Get in touch today to find out how Flame UK can support your business.