13.0 Summary and recommendation
70. A system of producer responsibility for packaging has been in place since 1997 in the UK. This has helped to significantly increase the recycling of packaging waste and helped meet the UK's and EU's packaging waste recycling targets. However, due to several shortcomings a reformed producer responsibility system for packaging is needed.
71. Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is a well-established principle adopted by many countries around the world, across a broad range of products and materials. It places responsibility on producers for the cost of managing their products once they reach end of life and gives producers an incentive to design their products to make it easier for them to be re-used or dismantled and recycled at end of their life.
72. We are exploring ways in which to design and introduce an extended producer responsibility system for packaging and have evaluated three options, all of which will be compared to Option 1 (baseline).
- Option 2. EPR scheme: full net cost recovery, modulated fees and mandatory labelling.
- Option 3. Option 2 + plastic film collection for recycling.
- Option 4. Option 3 + mandatory reporting and takeback of disposable fibre-based cups.
73. Option 4 is the preferred option as it goes one step further than the other options as it includes a material that is not currently recycled and therefore would meet the policy objective to increase packaging that is recycled. In the UK IA it delivers the highest NPV.
74. Some elements of the reformed producer responsibility system still have to be decided upon following the consultation and will be considered further in the final BRIA. These include:
- Governance model
- De minimis
- Approach to modulation
- Point of compliance