Defra has stated that although the content of the consultation has been completed, it is now unlikely to be published for public comment before June.
The delay is due, in part, to the need for key research to be completed that will inform both the consultation and the accompanying impact assessments, and also due to the timing of the Scottish Elections in May.
An election necessitates a ‘purdah’ period between its announcement and the formation of a new government, where civil servants – who are required to be politically impartial - are prohibited from making any announcements on policy initiatives that might be seen as politically advantageous to a given candidate.
Research still to be done
One of the research pieces that needs finalising is examining the scope for eco-modulation to foster eco-design, as seen in the modulated fee system proposed under the Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging consultations.
The second study scrutinises where information and evidence is lacking in the current system, to better inform data cited in the consultation.
The WEEE consultation was originally due to be published at the end of last year. This delay means that a government response to the consultation after it closes can be expected in 2023, in turn meaning any changes to the WEEE regulations probably won’t occur until 2024 at the very earliest, provided no further consultation is needed.
As Policy advisor Louisa provides key support to our team, including preparing reports on environmental policy issues and maintaining awareness of new developments. As such she will often be found coordinating responses to policy consultations, advocating policy positions and providing internal guidance to current legislation.