March 2, 2023
UK packaging waste regulations are effective as of 28 February 2023
On 28 February 2023, The Packaging Waste (Data Reporting) (England) Regulations 2023 came into effect.1
EPR for packaging will require “producers” of packaging to take responsibility for the environmental impact of the packaging they supply by requiring them to pay for the collection and disposal costs of this packaging when it becomes waste. This measure aims to provide a financial incentive for producers to reduce the amount of packaging they supply and to improve the recyclability of their packaging.
Producers will be required to pay an EPR fee to local authorities (LAs), via a Scheme Administrator (SA), based on the amount of packaging they have supplied. The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations 2023, which will contain provisions for the introduction of EPR, will not be in force until December 2023.
The provisions in the Packaging Waste (Data Reporting) (England) Regulations 2023 will require producers in England to collect and report their packaging data from March 2023 (or from January, if they have this data). This data will be required to calculate the EPR fees that producers will pay and is therefore crucial for enabling the full implementation of EPR.
Under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007, producers with an annual turnover of £2 million, who handle more than 50 tons of packaging each year, are required to report data on the amount of packaging they recycle.
More detailed information on the amount and type of packaging that is placed on the market by producers is required to calculate the EPR fees that producers will pay once the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations 2023 are in force which is expected in 2023.
These new regulations will require producers with an annual turnover of £2 million, who handle more than 50 tons of packaging each year, to report data on the amount and type of packaging they supply. It will also increase the frequency of this reporting from once to twice per year. In addition, it will create a new “de minimis” threshold, whereby producers with an annual turnover of £1 million, who handle more than 25 tons of packaging per year (but who do not surpass the “upper” threshold), will be required to collect (but not report) this data.
This development is significant as EPR affects businesses from across the packaging supply chain including, importers, distributors, and online marketplaces.
The scope of the regime goes beyond that of the UK Plastic Packaging Tax by impacting a wider range of materials.
For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:
Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), London