Packaging - extended producer responsibility: equality impact assessment

Equality impact assessment (EQIA) for the introduction of extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging.

Executive Summary

1. This Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) has been carried out to identify potential impacts resulting from the introduction of extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging.

2. This EQIA accompanies the draft regulations to establish packaging EPR and assesses the final scheme design as set out in these regulations.[1]

3. This EQIA has considered the potential positive and negative impacts of introducing packaging EPR on each of the protected characteristics. The analysis suggests that the proposals could have a more significant impact across the Age, Disability and Race characteristic groups. The provisions and how they may impact on people across the protected characteristics are set out under Key Findings. Factors investigated in relation to other protected characteristics do not appear, at this stage, to raise significant equality-related issues.

4. It is important to note that the protected characteristics are not independent of each other, and some people may be affected by complex and interconnected issues related to disadvantage at any one time. It is also recognised that this intersectionality also applies to those experiencing socio-economic disadvantage, as highlighted in the Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment and Island Communities Impact Assessment.

5. Given the importance of assessing the impact on each of the protected characteristics, the Scottish Government has considered the proposal against the needs of the general equality duty as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.[2] This has allowed for consideration of whether the measure could constitute direct and/or indirect discrimination.

6. Specifically, the EQIA considers impacts on equalities groups based on the three tests it is required to address:

  • Does this policy eliminate discrimination for each of the 9 protected characteristics (PCs)? If not is the discrimination justifiable? Can it be mitigated?
  • Does this policy advance equality of opportunity for PC groups?
  • Does this policy foster good community relations between people of PC groups?

7. A policy measure may positively impact on one or more of the protected characteristics, while having a disproportionately negative impact on others. Where any negative impacts are identified, amendments will be sought to mitigate or eliminate these. As the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is not solely about addressing negative impacts, consideration has also been given to support a positive duty to promote equality.

8. This EQIA has not identified anything which would have a direct negative impact on any of the protected characteristic groups at this time.

9. The evidence gathered and reviewed indicates that overall, packaging EPR will have a positive impact on equality by providing greater access to services and inclusive communications. Therefore, it is not considered that any changes to the policy should be made at this stage.



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