​Packaging reforms on the horizon in the UK

In order to meet the recovery targets set for packaging in the Circular Economy Package, the UK will need to change its waste strategy. At the moment too few of the costs related to packaging recovery are charged to the producers, in order to be in line with the full-cost recovery requirement.

Defra (the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) is currently looking at multiple different approaches of changing the current PRN (Packaging Recovery Note) system.

One of these approaches is the establishment of a central body. This body would enter contracts with local authorities and waste collectors in order to recycle packaging. The costs of this recycling is centralized and divided between the packaging producers.

A different approach looks like the WEEE system: producers are given a market share, based on their put on the market, and are obligated to recover the amount of packaging equal to that market share. If this target would be missed, a producer could be charged for this.

As of yet, it is not clear which of these (or any other) approaches will be used to increase the packaging recovery in the UK. This will become clearer in the next few months.

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26 Sep 2018 at 5:07 pm