News & Insights

New Rules for Producers of Packaging

The Packaging Waste (Data Reporting) (England) Regulations 2023 came into effect on 28 February 2023 and impose new obligations on packaging producers.

The new Regulations aim to make it easier for consumers to recycle waste by setting standards for the producers in charge of creating the packaging for products. From 1 October 2023, producers with an annual turnover of £2 million or over who handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year must report to the Environment Agency twice a year with data on the amount and type of packaging that they supply.

It is hoped that this will encourage producers to reduce the amount of packaging that they place on the market, with a view to making them more recyclable in the future. Currently, this update applies to all producers in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, with Wales anticipated to join at a later date.

The data that is collected from these reports will be used to calculate a fee that producers will have to pay in the future for the costs of collecting and managing household waste from packaging. The fee itself is likely to come into force in 2024 after there has been a review of the data collected from this year.

This effort to reduce packaging waste comes in tandem with a much larger project to reduce the amount of unrecyclable plastic waste. From October 2023, there will be a ban on single-use plastic for items such as cutlery and the Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, which is set to go ahead in 2025.

It is refreshing to see a focus on tackling all types waste but producers and businesses affected by these changes should start looking ahead as increased costs and sanctions are likely to come in due course. If you have any questions arising from this article, please contact: [email protected]