Reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system: Partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA)

A partial Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) for

proposed secondary legislation which forms part of the introduction of

extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging.

3.0 Consultation

3.1 Consultation within government

26. The Scottish Government, along with the other UK administrations, wants to design a packaging EPR scheme that has a positive long-term impact, is consistent and works well for all citizens. We have taken the view that this is best delivered by working with the other administrations to deliver a UK-wide scheme while respecting devolved powers. We are therefore closely collaborating with the UK Government, Welsh Government, and Northern Ireland Executive on the design of the system. We are also engaging with local authorities, as a key stakeholder within the new system.

27. As the regulators of the scheme, SEPA and the environmental regulators in the other nations of the UK have been closely involved in the design of the scheme to date and will continue to play a significant role as we move forward through policy development and implementation.

3.2 Public consultation

28. Between 18 February and 13 May 2019, the Scottish Government and the other UK administrations undertook a joint consultation on reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system.[19] It discussed the rationale for reforming the current system, set out the key principles and features of a revised EPR system for packaging, proposed packaging waste recycling targets to 2030, and presented different governance options for a future system – without putting forward a preferred option.

29. The summary of responses notes that 679 separate responses and 34 campaign responses were received. Overall, respondents were positive about the intent to improve the current system and for packaging EPR to form part of a coherent system that is understandable and fair to businesses and consumers. Based on the strong support from respondents for the principles and outcomes of a reformed packaging EPR scheme, the governments committed to progressing the policy proposals and to introducing a new EPR scheme for packaging.[20]

30. A second consultation on EPR for packaging ran for 10 weeks from 24 March 2021 to 4 June 2021. This consultation sought views on specific policy proposals for the introduction of EPR for packaging. Again, this was a joint consultation carried out in partnership with the UK Government, the Welsh Government, and the Northern Ireland Executive.

31. The consultation received 1,241 responses from a wide range of stakeholders. The summary of responses and the Government response to the 2021 consultation was published in March 2022.[21] The government response set out our policy intentions across all the components of packaging EPR and, in particular, set out our intentions in respect of the data that producers would be required to provide in the course of 2023 to support implementation.

3.3 Business consultation

32. The Scottish Government and the other UK administrations have engaged closely with businesses as the policy on packaging EPR has been developed, and this has taken account of feedback from a range of businesses and trade bodies.

33. A large number of businesses responded to each consultation referred to above, in particular the second consultation on the details of the policy, which received (among others) 140 responses from trade bodies and over 500 from individual businesses. Full consideration was given to the consultation responses in arriving at the final policy.

34. We and the other UK administrations have continued to engage directly with industry through the policy-development and into the implementation phase for packaging EPR. This has taken the form of frequent meetings with key trade bodies and representative industry experts (e.g. via the Advisory Council on Packaging). A number of webinars for industry with 1,000 attendees each have been held and we have convened "sprint groups" to bring industry expertise directly into the policy-making process on key themes such as fee modulation.

35. As we develop the final BRIA which will be laid alongside the legislation that gives effect to packaging EPR later in 2023, we will carry out more focussed engagement with a group of 6-12 businesses to inform the Scottish Firms Impact Test and Competition Assessment.

36. The consultation with businesses will take place during and after the public consultation process. The form of engagement will include:

  • Questionnaires.
  • Virtual and/or in-person interviews and possibly workshops.
  • Email correspondence.

37. The 6-12 affected businesses, representative organisations and trade unions of varying sizes and sectors will be consulted on the proposed changes. The results will be published in the final BRIA. This process will help to establish:

  • Any anticipated impact on the competitiveness of Scottish companies within the UK, or elsewhere in Europe or the rest of the world.
  • The number of businesses and the sectors likely to be impacted by the change.
  • The likely cost or benefit to business.



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