A letter sent to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rt Hon George Eustice MP, outlines concerns that the options presented for consultation under the Resources and Waste Strategy are ‘too complex’.
The letter has been coordinated by the Environmental Services Association (ESA) and is countersigned by 12 additional national organisations representing the retail, manufacturing and packaging sectors.
The letter calls on Defra to consider new options for its proposals for the future collection and funding of packaging recycling from businesses across England, and expresses concerns that the options presented for consultation under the Resources and Waste Strategy are ‘too complex’ and could drive ‘unintended outcomes’ – including inflating costs to consumers.
We […] are concerned that Defra’s current set of options around EPR payments are overly complex and may drive undue costs or other undesirable outcomes
Executive Director of the ESA, Jacob Hayler, said: “Our sector remains hugely supportive of the ambition of Defra’s waste reforms under the Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS). Maximising the capture of recyclable material not just from households, but businesses too, is essential for the Government to hit its sixty-five per cent recycling target by 2035, and the proposed new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime will help fund the infrastructure and services needed to achieve this.
“At least some of the cost of this new regime will be passed through from producers to consumers – perhaps adding £100 to their annual shopping bills – so it’s important that any additional cost directly drives recycling performance outcomes and not administration.
“That is why we, alongside the many organisations which countersigned our open letter to the Secretary of State today, are concerned that Defra’s current set of options around EPR payments are overly complex and may drive undue costs or other undesirable outcomes.
“To simplify things and drive performance, not paperwork, we recommend extending local authority waste services to micro-businesses that create household-like waste in the short term, and to establish a specific work-stream to investigate and design more simple reforms that extend to business waste producers more widely.
“Designing a fair, transparent and robust regime for EPR payments to businesses is one of the most challenging aspects of the RWS reforms, but we welcome the opportunity to work with government to design a scheme that works for producers, businesses, consumers and the environment.”
The letter attached is countersigned by:
- British Printing Industries Federation (BPFI)
- British Printing Industries Federation – Cartons
- British Printing Industries Federation – Labels
- British Retail Consortium (BRC)
- Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI)
- Food and Drink Federation (FDF)
- Food service Packaging Association (FPA)
- Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN)
- Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA)
- Packaging Federation
- Recycling Association