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Packaging Reform Update

15th May 2018

Cherry Whittaker

Recommendations on the packaging regulatory reform have been presented to the Secretary of State

A finalised list of recommendations for the packaging reform have been published today (15 May 2018). This came as a result of an initial discussion called for by the Secretary of State Michael Gove in December 2017, leading to three industry representative associations engaging with multiple stakeholders within the packaging supply chain in the UK to discuss the packaging reform. 

The aforementioned organisations are environmental charity WRAPINCPEN (Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment) and Defra’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP). Their talks with industry stakeholders were centered around how the packaging regulatory reform could benefit our environment; specifically, reducing the environmental impact caused by current packaging use and disposal methods in the UK, particularly plastic. 

These discussions were facilitated through six sector-specific workshops, resulting in a summit on 16 April 2018. The summit aimed to share outcomes and findings, then set out an agreed list of recommendations to be published and presented to the government. 

In terms of the mutually agreed focus areas, these included change to the current packaging producer responsibility legislation, which would need to be consistent throughout the UK and with increased accountability. In addition, the need for an independent arbiter was determined to make certain that money raised through the UK system is invested back into the system in the most effective manner.

Overall, the recommendations are tailored around the following:

  • Achieving better packaging design
  • Making it easier for people to recycle, whether at home, at work, and on-the-go
  • Achieving higher quality, consistent collections
  • Encouraging UK reprocessing through quality feedstock
  • Creating markets with strong demand for recycled content

Once the Secretary of State has released an official response, we will publish a news story on our website to inform you of the outcomes.