The Prime Minister has consulted with ministers about delaying extended producer responsibility, according to a report in The Telegraph.
The Telegraph reports that the UK government are holding discussions about pushing back extended producer responsibility (EPR), which is planned to begin in 2024.
A Defra spokesperson told Circular Online work is ongoing to deliver the EPR scheme and they’re continuing to engage closely with manufacturers, retailers and packaging companies on the design of the scheme.
“We will continue to work with industry as we finalise plans to ensure that the schemes will deliver our environmental goals.”
Defra also said it constantly keeps its plans under review and all four UK administrations are taking a joint approach to introducing the scheme, which will operate UK-wide.
Commenting on the reporting, Lee Marshall, Policy and External Affairs Director, CIWM, said: “CIWM is deeply concerned to hear about this possible delay to a key piece of the collection and packaging reforms. EPR is a central plank of the Resources and Waste Strategy and without it, consistent collections cannot be implemented.
“These continued delays and U-turns are unhelpful and frustrating for the resources and waste sector, which need to make investment decisions about the collections systems and infrastructure now for the country to achieve its net zero and circular economy ambitions.
“CIWM believes these key reforms must be implemented without any further delay so that producers truly pay for the pollution they create from their products.
We urge the government to continue as planned with the packaging EPR regime.
“We urge the government to continue as planned with the packaging EPR regime and to announce the outcome of the English Collections Consistency consultation as soon as possible; so that the whole resources and waste sector can begin to move forward with a coherent and concrete plan to improve our recycling performance and to create a world beyond waste.”
Sunak challenged to review Plastic Packaging Tax
Managing director of goplasticpallets.com, Jim Hardisty, has written an open letter to the Prime Minister arguing for the plastic packaging tax (PPT) to be reformed.
In the letter, Hardisty writes: “The current form of the PPT has inadvertently penalised our environmentally-friendly products, making it harder for us to compete and invest in our business and our team. This is why I am calling for a thorough review and reform of the PPT.
“Prime minister, I believe that PPT, in its current form, is fundamentally flawed and not fit for purpose. I suggest that it should be scrapped and reintroduced with a clear focus on single-use plastic.”
I believe that PPT, in its current form, is fundamentally flawed and not fit for purpose.
HMRC data, as of 23 May, showed that the PPT raised a total of £263 million through the first 10 months of the scheme, significantly exceeding HMRC targets as the government estimated the tax would generate £235 million in its first year.
Earlier this year, the UK government announced it will consult on reforming the PPT to encourage investment in chemical recycling.
Hardisty also invited Rishi Sunak to discuss reforms to the PPT. Commenting on the invitation, Hardisty said: “I believe that a constructive conversation with the prime minister can lead to positive change for our industry.
“The current PPT design has unintentionally disadvantaged sustainably-focused businesses like ours. A reform that recognises the difference between single-use plastic and sustainable alternatives is critical to our collective goal of a greener future.”