Government must “go back to the drawing board” with EPR reforms – BRC

plastic packaging

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is calling on the UK government to “urgently rethink” crucial parts of its “fundamentally flawed” Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) reforms.

The BRC says that while retailers are committed to reducing waste and packaging they are deeply concerned that without “significant investment in recycling infrastructure in Britain”, households could be forced to foot the bill for EPR without seeing any meaningful improvements to recycling rates.

Major retailers are calling on Government to fix the policy as the BRC says that there is little confidence in Defra’s current EPR proposals. The Consortium continues that the proposals “lack ambition” and fail to set out how an effective, efficient, national and fit for the future recycling system will be created in the UK.

It says the proposals also don’t explain how EPR funds would be ring-fenced to ensure the funds raised are invested back into recycling infrastructure.

It’s time to work with retailers and manufacturers to ensure the public gets a world-class recycling system.

Retailers are also calling for changes to the way the system is managed so it’s industry-led and aligned with recycling schemes across the globe. BRC says that current proposals risk setting the UK back environmentally and at a significant cost to businesses.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, commented: “It’s time that government went back to the drawing board. We have the opportunity to get it right on the future of a waste management scheme that will determine UK recycling rates for a generation.

“Under existing proposals, funding meant for UK recycling could end up servicing local authority debt or be put to uses which do not improve our national recycling infrastructure. Government’s haste to introduce a new system is undermining the system itself.

“It’s time to work with retailers and manufacturers to ensure the public gets a world-class recycling system that collects and processes as much recyclable material as possible.”

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