BLETCHINGDON, UK, Feb. 18, 2019 (Press Release) -The Government has today (Monday 18 February) announced four Consultations from Defra and H M Treasury, covering Reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system (Defra); Introducing a Deposit Returns Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Defra); Consistency in household and business recycling collections in England (Defra) and Plastic Packaging Tax (HMT).
“Responding to the publication of consultations by Defra to reforming the UK Packaging Producer Responsibility System, introducing a Deposit Return System in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, consistency on Household and Business Recycling Collections in England and a Plastics Packaging Tax by HM Treasury, the FPA appreciates the consultation period of 12 weeks is an extension of the period Defra was originally considering but with a total 489 pages of highly detailed content the scale of the consultations will inevitably distract businesses from critical planning required as a result of a potential no-deal exit from the EU.
“For smaller businesses without specialist resource even 12 weeks over this period may limit the numbers who are able to respond. Nonetheless all four consultations provide the opportunity to develop a waste management infrastructure with the potential to increase recycling with a substantially greater proportion taking place the UK.
“We draw great significance from the consultation on Producer Responsibility being UK wide, but this also needs to be applied for the consultations on DRS and consistency. We need a harmonised UK system and would urge all four nations to work towards this and so make the system simple for both the public and all businesses.
“The EPR consultation includes a number of our red lines including the ending of de minimus, clearer recycling labelling and modulation to favour easier to recycle packaging.
“Business equally needs to work together to provide Government with a harmonised response and the FPA will work with the packaging, food, drink and hospitality sectors to help enable this and to ensure the final system provides full transparency with all funds created used wholly for collection, sortation and recycling with business playing a role to ensure the return from the funding is maximised. This must be business’s default position.
“We would like to see the result of the consultations also being the virtual eradication of litter in our streets, countryside, litter and seas but to do so EPR needs to be extended beyond the scope of packaging and a similar strategy must be set for chewing gum and cigarettes which account for almost half of litter.
“Defra and HM Treasury have given the opportunity for packaging waste management to shift up several gears and we must all work together ensure the huge increase in funding by business really will be used to deliver the opportunity and the best value and that this will be delivered across the UK.”