After moving one step closer, are retailers and brands prepared to face one of the strictest EPR models in the UK? 

* 3 min read
The second consultation on the planned UK EPR scheme concluded last Friday June 4th, taking us one step closer to a reformed EPR model in the UK.

Defra’s aim with EPR reform is to provide:
An incentive to make better, more sustainable decisions at the product design stage including decisions that make it easier for products to be re-used or recycled at their end of life.

Key focus areas of the consultation were:

  • Scope of full net costs (FNC)
  • Proposed system governance and regulation
  • Producer obligations & reporting requirements
  • Recycling targets

So, what impact will moving from the current PRN-based model to a fully-fledged EPR scheme have on brands and retailers?

With producers set to be accountable for the full net costs of recovery and recycling of their packaging materials, plus the probable introduction of eco-modulated fees and labelling requirements, the impact and implications are much bigger than the industry initially anticipated. Costs to producers in year 1 are projected at a staggering £2.7 billion, and packaging submissions / reporting is likely to require actual weight data rather than industry averages.

What is EPR
Image source: Zero Waste Scotland

I know I, along with many of us in the industry, will be waiting eagerly for the consultation responses and implementing legislation due later this year. While there are still some unknowns until the framework is finalised.

Defra’s intended direction of travel is clear, and it could very well result in the UK having one of the strictest global EPR regimes.
GC1Gillian Orr

With the strictest EPR regimes comes the need for more and more data and information on packaging. I don’t think this is a bad thing and to be honest is probably well overdue but how many brands and retailers are really ready for this? What will this do to the industry?

With 2023 approaching faster than we would like to admit, in my opinion the time to start preparing is now.

About the author

imageedit 1 6168940299Gillian Orr – Lead Sustainability Consultant

Gill is a lead consultant, dedicated to providing clients with sustainable packaging strategy, process mapping / improvement and decoding the complex arena of global packaging regulation. She has experience across FMCG, food service and branded clients globally, implementing teams, processes and strategies to drive efficiency while ensuring transparency and integrity of packaging data through technology. Her solution-led, detail-oriented and collaborative approach ensures our clients receive the best possible advice to meet their sustainability targets and reduce waste - in all senses of the word 

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