Defra release consultation on draft packaging EPR regulations

The consultation shares the draft packaging EPR regulations for industry feedback and introduces other aspects of the system, including the role of the scheme administrator.

The stated purpose of the consultation is to “gather views on how the approach set out in the Government's consultation response of March 2022 has been reflected in the draft Regulations, and to receive feedback on the operability of their implementation arrangements.”

The consultation seeks views on:

  • Legislation that producers who self-manage packaging waste will have to report in which UK nation the waste was collected and sent for recycling
  • Whether the draft legislation ensures producer obligations are clear
  • A 20% cap on reduction of funds to local authorities where the scheme administrator does not deem them to be delivering an ‘efficient and effective service’

Whereas the consultation and accompanying draft regulation provide clarity in some key areas, there are still aspects of the system that they do not shed light on, such as details of the waste management fee setting and what aspects of packaging waste management local authorities may receive funding for.

Help governments understand the real-world implications

Innovation and policy director Robbie Staniforth commented "This new consultation is a fantastic opportunity for experts in the compliance sector to review the regulations that have been in draft form, but not released, for quite some time now. There are likely to be minor creases to iron out to ensure that the law is fit for purpose.”

“As with any complicated piece of legislation there is always a risk of creating grey areas, loopholes or unintended consequences. Having provided informal feedback, we look forward to combing through to help the governments understand the real-world implications of what has been drafted."

The consultation closes on 9 October 2023 and can be accessed here. We will share the official Ecosurety consultation response ahead of this deadline.

Impact of PRN system continuation

On 26 July it was confirmed that the payment of waste management fees by producers under packaging EPR has been delayed until October 2025. It has since become clear that the existing 2007 packaging waste regulations will not be revoked in 2024, meaning the PRN system will continue unchanged for another year.

As the regulations for data reporting under EPR were passed earlier this year and will not be delayed, this means packaging producers will likely have an extra data submission in 2024. For example, in 2024 large producers would have two reporting deadlines under EPR plus one data reporting deadline under the existing PRN system, and potentially a fourth data submission if they are also liable under nation of sale reporting.

EPR reporting (with the first deadline being 1 October this year) will be under the single point of compliance, whereas annual reporting under the existing PRN system will continue as a shared obligation. Government will now act to set recycling targets for 2024, under the current packaging waste regulations.

The PRN system continuation in 2024 does not impact the EPR data reporting. We urge packaging producers to continue to complete their data requirements for the first EPR submission without any delay. Ecosurety has contacted all packaging members with clear instructions on what to do next and its members can also access an extensive range of knowledge resources in the Ecosurety Hub website. We will be in touch with members in due course regarding any additional data reporting actions and support, as the situation becomes clearer.

If you are not yet a member of Ecosurety, find out more about packaging EPR and how we can help.


Written by Louisa Goodfellow Published 31/07/2023 Topics Packaging
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