Apr 22nd, 2021
4 mins

Many members will be aware that there is currently a Government Consultation underway on the proposed Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme (EPR). This will replace the current PRN system on the recovery and recycling of packaging.

We were joined on the Sustainability Day of the BFFF Business Conference by Dick Searle CEO of The Packaging Federation.

Dick provided an overview of the proposed legislation and raised some very important points that all members need to be aware of.

The Consultation was launched on 24th March and closes on 4th June 2021.

The core principle is that business will pay all costs related to packaging at ‘end of life’. The proposal is also very different to the rest of Europe where systems have one point, as an example retailers.

EPR, however, assigns responsibilities to several parts of the supply chain. Brands will have full responsibility for their products and retailers/wholesalers will have responsibility for their own labels.

Waste from business premises, offices, shops, restaurants will all full under the scheme. For these it will be free, but the cost will fall onto the companies who pay into the scheme.

Another critical point is that the cost of litter clearance from the environment will be included in the scheme. This will add millions to the cost as business picks up the tab for the population at large who are unwilling to dispose of rubbish correctly.

The scheme also proposes modulated fees so the harder a material is to recycle the more you will pay. We agree with Dick that this is a sensible provision, but large parts of the proposal will not only transfer current costs back to industry but will add new costs. Dick estimates the impact will be that members will see their current PRN costs multiply by 10 or even 20-fold.

The Federation had in fact invited Dick to meet with our Special Interest Group on Packaging earlier in the week. As the trade body for frozen we will formally respond to the consultation and will also encourage members to submit a response which we will try and create on behalf of members in conjunction with the Packaging SIG.

The presentation from this year’s Frozen Food Business Conference will be made available to all attendees.  If you were not able to purchase a ticket, please contact Siobhan O’Callaghan.


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