Michael Gove responds to packaging sector about consultation recommendations

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The signatories wrote the letter in mid-May urging the Secretary to listen to their suggestions about how the UK can become a “world leader in the sustainable use of resources”. 

Recently, 46 signatories from across the packaging supply chain wrote a letter to Environment Secretary of State Michael Gove with recommendations on Defra’s consultations, which he has now responded to.  

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Some of their recommendations included: 

  • Making a joined-up implementation of extended producer responsibility and consistency across the UK priorities 
  • Creating a not-for-profit body to oversee the EPR system to operate UK-wide and have a co-operative governance model from across the value chain    
  • Consideration for a principle of ‘pay by results’ that applies to producers and local authorities   
  • A simplification of packaging labels, by removing the ‘check locally’ guidance to help consumers know what can and can’t be recycled. 

From this, the Secretary of State has welcomed the signatories’ recommendations and said he will consider them, as well as stating that he is keen to work closely with them moving forward.  

He added that his strong preference is to “adopt a UK-wide approach were possible” and ensure that it is important that policies are introduced in a cohesive way throughout the country.  

On the topic of a deposit return scheme, the Environment Secretary said that the Government is currently analysing views that have been shared with them through consultations, and would want to avoid “any inefficiencies or unnecessary costs in the waste system” if they choose to implement a deposit return scheme. 

He added that it is vital that this policy and the policies developed at Defra are delivered in a “coherent way” and are balanced with each other.  

Signatories of the letter to Michael Gove was signed by nearly 50 companies, organisations, and trade associations. These include: INCPEN, The Recycling Association, Resource Association, Wood Recyclers Association, British Glass, CPI, RECOUP, Boots, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Co-op Retail and many more.   

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