Gove agrees to calls for ‘radical’ change to producer responsibility

WRAP, INCPEN and the ACP are calling for radical change to the existing producer responsibility regime, supported by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

There was also agreement that change needs to be cohesive with other policy instruments and consistent across the UK with greater transparency and accountability, and has broad support across the packaging value chain as well.

Gove wrote: “I have announced our intent to reform producer responsibility systems (including packaging waste regulations) to incentivise producers to taker greater responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products. Your recommendations are timely and will be valuable as we develop policy options that complement and build on the action already taken by businesses, such as through the UK Plastics Pact.”

The bodies have been engaged in a comprehensive programme of discussions with stakeholders from across the UK packaging supply chain for the last two months.

Businesses were clear that they are willing to pay more into the system to ensure it is adequately funded and works effectively.

The recommendations are geared towards:

  • Achieving better packaging design
  • Making it easier for people to recycle, whether at home, at work, and on-the-go
  • Achieving higher quality, consistent collections
  • Encouraging UK reprocessing through quality feedstock
  • Creating markets with strong demand for recycled content

Marcus Gover, chief executive, WRAP, said: “The Secretary of State’s response is very encouraging and I am particularly pleased to see his commitment to accelerating the move to uniform recycling collections, as this supports a key area of work for WRAP. The need for government policy to underpin the commitments made by business will be key to us achieving the ambitious goals we have laid out in The UK Plastics Pact.”

Paul Vanston, chief executive INCPEN, said said that after years of debate, the UK has moved closer to seeing a consistent collection system for used packaging.

“I’m delighted with the leadership by Michael Gove, Secretary of State and Therese Coffey, Environment Minister in wishing to create a better functioning packaging value chain from design through to consumers and on to reprocessing and continued life of materials. The breadth and depth of engagement in the last six months, facilitated by WRAP, INCPEN and the ACP, led to a universally supported message that funds raised by the value chain need to be used to solve problems within it.

Phil Conran, Chair of ACP, added: “We welcome the Secretary of State’s very positive response that will help to focus the direction of travel in the work the ACP is doing with Defra in developing options for change.”

 

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