Government wants another year to slash the cost of EPR

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Ministers have blamed inflation for the decision to further delay rules making waste producers pay for recycling.

Defra yesterday announced that implementation of the much-heralded extended producer responsibility scheme would be deferred for another year.

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Initially expected in 2023, the regulations were then pushed back to April 2024 but now won’t come in until October 2025 at the earliest.

The government explained the latest decision with reference to “the pressure facing consumers and businesses in the current economic context”. It added that it wanted another year to “reduce the costs of implementation wherever possible”.

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.”

Defra said the decision to defer producer payments had been taken jointly with the devolved administrations. It would provide industry and councils with “more time to prepare” said the department.

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