An Introduction to the new Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations
GIMA Day Conference – 17th Feb
As members of GIMA, MorePeople attended their day conference on 17th February which focused on the new Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations (EPR) that are scheduled to come into effect in 2023. EPR is a regulatory tool that requires producers to be substantially responsible for their post-consumer product.
Josh Remi from Ecoveritas provided an informative presentation on the coming changes.
EPR regulations intend to make businesses responsible for the full cost of managing all packaging they place in on the market – a very relevant topic for our industry and many others.
The current Packaging Waste Regulations (PRN System) began in 1997, which are now extremely out of date and don’t reflect the online world we now live in. The new regulations are being redesigned to make producers financially responsible for 100% of the costs associated with packaging waste management.
For example, when thinking about growers, they will have to consider imports and their secondary packaging sold to retail customers, as imported packaging will be chargeable.
The main points businesses should be preparing for are;
· There will be increased financial incentive to use packaging that is widely collected from households for recycling, as well as increasing recycled content in packaging
· Mandatory recyclability labelling on packaging for brand owners & importers
· Additional data will need to be collected and reported, such as reporting actual packaging weight
· Data reporting requirements are also likely to become more complex, possibly requiring quarterly submissions
· Reporting will have to be separated between England, Scotland, Wales and Norther Ireland
We were also joined by Wessex Packaging who showcased some of their innovative packaging solutions using less plastic and more recycled materials.
With the rise of inflation, increasing costs from brexit, soaring fuel prices and the complications from the pandemic, EPR brings another reason for businesses to encounter higher costs and further price increases for consumers! The main takeaway point of the day was that businesses need to be prepared - they need to do their research on EPR, and get their data and reporting ready.
Thanks to GIMA for an insightful day, we’re sure we’ll be hearing more about EPR over the coming months.