EPR: regulations published after latest delay to scheme

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Ministers have published draft regulations that will eventually implement the long-delayed extended producer responsibility policy.

The government in 2022 set out detail of its proposed revamp of the packaging waste recycling system, as promised in the landmark 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy.

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The new regime, which would see companies whose products are sold in this country footing the bill for managing the resultant waste, was initially due to come into force this year.

That has been delayed several times, however, most recently to October 2025 as the government prioritises tackling inflation.

But now Defra has set out the regulations that will implement the new policy, putting them out to consultation from today.

“We remain committed to introducing measures that work for business, local government, the environment and the economy and which deliver sustained change,” said the department in a statement.

“The policy is designed to improve efficiency by placing responsibility on businesses for the environmental impact of their packaging. This to incentivise appropriate use of packaging and the use of recyclable and reusable packaging, and in turn encourage more domestic reprocessing and overall system improvements and savings.”

Producer figures including Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts backed the latest delay to EPR but The Recycling Association chief executive Paul Sanderson described it as “unbelievable” and urged the government to “get on with it”.