Priti raises concerns about the Government’s Extended Producer Responsibility scheme
Priti Patel, the Member of Parliament for Witham, has called on the Government to reconsider their proposed regulations as part of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, following representations from a number of local businesses.
The Government is seeking to introduce the extended producer responsibility scheme as part of its commitment to eliminate avoidable waste by 2050 and recycle 65% of municipal waste by 2035. Under the scheme, packaging producers would pay the full cost of managing packing once it becomes waste, with the intention of encouraging producers to use more recyclable materials and less packaging overall.
A number of concerns have been raised regarding the proposed scheme, including the current costs associated with package recovery notes, and the additional obligations that would be introduced by the EPR.
For example, companies that already use glass packaging for their products, which at minimum contains 55% recycled content and is in turn further recyclable, would find themselves penalised with proposed EPR costs nearly £500,000 higher than if they were using plastic packing instead. As such, it would be more financially viable for them to use less environmentally friendly packaging than they are using at present.
Priti said: “Currently these proposed regulations would have significant financial implications on businesses in the food and beverage sector, especially those who already use more environmentally friendly forms of packaging, such as glass. Whilst the recent announcement by the Government that these new rules will be deferred by a year is welcomed, they must now meaningfully engage with industry on the impact these regulations will have.
“Here in Witham, we have a number of food and beverage companies producing world famous brands that would be significantly impacted by the EPR scheme, and I am pressing for an urgent meeting with them and Ministers to discuss this issue.”