UK government announces changes to pEPR legislation


extended producer responsibility

The UK government is aiming for packaging extended producer responsibility legislation to come into force across the UK by 1 January 2025, after announcing changes to the draft Regulations.

The extended producer responsibility for packaging (pEPR) legislation now includes recycling targets for 2025-2030, the UK government has announced.

There is also a new provision that means if a deposit return scheme (DRS) has not been established by 1 January 2028, producers of drinks containers made of PET plastic, aluminium, and steel will be subject to pEPR obligations until a DRS is operational for the materials.

The labelling provisions have also been amended so all labelling obligations will now come into force on 1 April 2027.

Provisions binned waste and litter payments have now also been removed and the UK government said will be delivered through a separate regulation.

The Scheme Administrator is now also required to provide guidance on the methodology used and factors considered in assessing net efficient disposal costs and effectiveness.

The UK government has also revised the household packaging definition to widen the criteria which allows packaging to become exempt from being classified as household packaging, and therefore exempt from disposal cost fees.

Embracing the legislation proactively will open up opportunities for stakeholders to thrive rather than just survive with the new rules.

The UK government said changes were informed by stakeholder feedback to the packaging EPR consultation.

The Draft EPR for Packaging Regulations 2024 were sent to the European Union in respect of Northern Ireland under the Windsor Framework, and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) was notified about labelling requirements.

Following agreed notification periods at the WTO and the EU, the UK government plans to bring packaging EPR legislation before the UK Parliament later this year with the aim of it coming into force on 1 January 2025.

Producers are required to report the amount of packaging they place on the market, for the period January to December 2024. This reporting will be used to charge producer fees and pay local authorities for managing packaging waste for the period, 25 April and 26 March.

Packaging producers are required to report their data by 31 May and may face enforcement if they do not comply.

Steve Gough, Chief Executive of Valpak by Reconomy, the UK’s largest compliance scheme, commented: “This latest development provides much greater certainty over the timings of the EPR for Packaging draft regulations and increases the likelihood that it will be up and running by the start of next year.

“Producers should take advantage of this certainty to absorb and familiarise themselves with the legislation to start preparing for its introduction. Embracing the legislation proactively will open up opportunities for stakeholders to thrive rather than just survive with the new rules, while placing circularity at the heart of their offering.”

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