Packaging EPR data regulations set for new update

Amendments to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging data regulations are currently moving through parliament, ready to be passed by the end of March.

Ahead of the amendments becoming legislation, the gov.uk packaging EPR guidance pages have recently been updated to reflect the impending changes.

The amendments will come into force on 1 April and will take effect from the next submission relating to packaging handled between January to June of 2024, to be submitted later this year. The most recent submission relating to packaging handled in the second half of 2023 is not impacted by this update.

Non-household packaging update

The incoming amendments make crucial changes to the way packaging producers will report their data. This includes a change to the definition of household packaging, where any direct sales of primary or shipment packaging to businesses or public institutions who dispose of it will be defined as non-household from the next submission.

Furthermore, any packaging product designed only for use by a business or public institution, that is ‘not reasonably likely to be disposed of in a household bin or public bin’ can also be excluded from household packaging reporting.

This redefinition comes after industry concern that the delineation between household and non-household packaging was too blunt, capturing items such as beer kegs and industrial drums that would have attracted local authority disposal fees in 2025 despite never being disposed of in household waste streams.

Distributor obligations update

Other changes that the new amendments bring in include new obligations on ‘distributors’ - the classification applied to manufacturers and importers of empty packaging. For packaging supplied in 2024, these businesses will need to report all empty packaging they sell, unless it is sold to a large organisation that pack/fills it, supplies it to another organisation, or places their brand on it.

Additional technical revisions in the amendments will also cover obligations on pack/fillers and importers, and provide further clarity on whether producers are ‘established in the UK’.

Looking ahead

It is important that businesses impacted by EPR understand these new amendments when they come into force to accurately report their packaging data later in the year. It is also worth noting that the data regulations and these subsequent amendments will be repealed this year, alongside the existing 2007 ‘PRN regulations’, and replaced with what is referred to as the ‘main EPR’ regulations which were consulted on in 2023.

Ecosurety members can stay up to date by accessing our knowledge articles in the Ecosurety Hub. The changes explained above will be reflected in our EPR guidance once they become law, after 1 April.

Written by Louisa Goodfellow Published 25/03/2024 Topics Packaging
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