Defra: EPR scheme for packaging deferred to October 2025

Defra: EPR scheme for packaging deferred to October 2025

Business

In response to the current economic challenges faced by consumers and businesses, the UK government has made an important update on packaging reforms. The implementation of new rules, which would require packaging producers to bear the cost of recycling their packaging, will be deferred by a year, shifting from October 2024 to 2025.

This deferral aims to provide additional time for industry engagement and discussions to optimise the scheme's design and reduce implementation costs. Producers have already begun adopting eco-friendly practices by using less packaging and opting for easily recyclable formats. This proactive approach will help avoid passing recycling costs onto households in the future.

The decision to defer producer payments is a joint effort with the devolved administrations, allowing stakeholders like industry, local authorities, and waste management companies more preparation time to ensure the scheme's success. By doing so, the government aims to align the scheme with long-term recycling objectives while also addressing the immediate challenges of high inflation and its impact on households.

Despite the deferral, the government remains committed to its vision of eliminating avoidable waste by 2050 and achieving a 65% recycling rate for municipal waste by 2035.

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, said: We're determined to transform the way we collect, recycle and reuse our waste materials so we eliminate all avoidable waste by 2050 in a way that works for households and consumers. That's better for our environment. We are also listening to industry and ensuring our work to tackle inflation and to drive up recycling go hand in hand, to make sure our reforms will be a success.
Simon Roberts, CEO of Sainsbury's, said: Whilst we remain absolutely committed to a circular economy and support the introduction of EPR, we welcome today's announcement. This will provide the necessary time to work across our industry and with Government in order to get EPR right first time. This decision is also an important step in minimising further pressure on food inflation and we will continue to focus on delivering the best value to customers in the coming months.

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