SUEZ set out principles for a producer responsibility system to tackle waste

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A new document published by SUEZ has set out 10 principles for achieving a “world-leading” producer responsibility system to tackle waste in the UK.

The document, called Un-packaging Extended Producer Responsibility, provides guidance as to how a fair producer responsibility regime could be most effectively introduced in the UK, based on the outcomes of workshops held with a wide range of stakeholders across the economic value chain.

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Over the past three months, SUEZ has led more than 25 workshops with various groups and organisations, including the UK Government, Coca-Cola, Marks & Spencer, Iceland and INCPEN, among other brands, packaging manufactures and businesses.

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Currently, producers of packaging, batteries, vehicles and electrical items are obligated to demonstrate various recycling and recovery rates for materials they place on the market.

However, SUEZ believes that these obligations should be extended to other goods, and that producers should contribute more to the cost of collection, recycling and disposal.

In its new guidance document, SUEZ presents ten principles which it believes a well-designed extended producer responsibility system should deliver. These include:

– More sustainable product design
– Enhanced brand equity for good performers
– A fair playing field for producers
– Better informed consumers
– A competitive marketplace
– Innovation in materials, products and recycling systems
– Simplicity for all participants
– System delivered at minimal cost to the consumers
– Seek to deter fraud and crime
– Reward or penalise businesses in a meaningful way based on performance.

SUEZ technical development director and author of the report Stuart Hayward-Higham said: “The principles we present for a world-leading producer responsibility scheme in this body of work are the culmination of hundreds of conversations between SUEZ and various actors within the economic value chain over the past couple of years. We believe they therefore provide robust and useful guidance to policy-makers considering this vital topic and we would like to thank all of the people who have helped us to form these views.

“Designing an extended producer responsibility scheme which is efficient in both cost and delivery, and which therefore minimises passed-on costs to consumers, is essential. We also believe that consumers should be given simple, on-product, information so they can make informed choices about the sustainability of the things they purchase.”

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