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Government publish responses to packaging consultations

25th July 2019

Gareth Roberts

On the 23 July 2019, The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and HM Treasury released a summary of the responses they have received to the four packaging related consultations that all closed in March 2019. The documents also include the proposed next steps and can be found via the links provided below

As a reminder, these four consultations were in response to the government Resources and Waste Strategy released in December 2018 which gave a clear steer in terms of a new, more ambitious future for resources and waste management with the intention of making the UK a world leader. The goal is to increase the quality and quantity of packaging waste going to recycling.

DEFRA responses

Packaging waste: changing the UK producer responsibility system for packaging waste

Waste and recycling: making recycling collections consistent in England

Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers (bottles and cans)

Plastic packaging tax consultation (HM Treasury response)

The Comply Direct team are now busy digesting the content of all four documents and in the coming weeks will provide our own summary overview to our scheme members which we will communicate the details of to our members in due course. In terms of timings for new legislation, the documents confirm the following.

Packaging waste: changing the UK producer responsibility system for packaging waste

With regards to the consultation on reforming the current packaging producer responsibility system, DEFRA will now consider the responses and evidence submitted in more detail and will undertake further analysis to inform more detailed proposals on the specific nature of an extended producer responsibility scheme for packaging and related secondary legislation. This work will be taken forward over the remainder of 2019 and they anticipate bringing their final proposals forward for consultation in 2020. Subject to the outcome of the second, more detailed consultation, the necessary changes will be implemented as soon as practical thereafter. The target year for packaging EPR to come into effect is 2023.

Waste and recycling: making recycling collections consistent in England

The next steps for the consultation on making recycling collections more consistent in England will be for the government to work with local authorities, waste management businesses, as well as other organisations and businesses to develop more detailed regulations and guidance to implement consistency in recycling. They anticipate bringing forward more detailed proposals early next year (2020) and implementing the necessary changes to achieve greater consistency in household and business recycling as soon as possible thereafter. The target year for measures to come into effect is 2023.

Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers (bottles and cans)

If a DRS is to be introduced, government would hold a second consultation on the proposed regulatory framework for introducing a DRS through secondary legislation, including more detailed proposals for the nature of any such scheme. The development of the second consultation will be carried out during the remainder of 2019, with the expectation that they will consult on the specific details of a DRS in early 2020, building on further analysis. Following the second consultation, a DRS would be introduced from 2023.

Plastic packaging tax consultation

In terms of the plastic packaging tax, the government will set out the next steps at Budget 2019. HMRC will then publish a technical consultation on the detail of the tax design at a later date, and publish draft legislation for consultation in 2020.

If you have any queries at this stage with regards to the summary of consultation responses, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to advise as best we can with the information we currently have available to us - consultation@complydirect.com / 01756 794 951

As mentioned above, we will be communicating our own in-depth summary of the responses to our scheme members imminently.