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.

7.0 Consumer Assessment

77. It is important to consider the impact on consumers of affected packaging products. The Scottish Government's definition of a consumer is "anyone who buys goods or digital content or uses goods or services either in the private or public sector, now or in the future".

78. Scottish Government's Consumer and Competition Policy Unit specifies the questions below when determining the impact of proposed legislation on consumers. While a first assessment has been conducted here (see Table 33), the final assessment will be informed by further research and consultation.

Table 3. Consumer Assessment Questions.

Does the policy affect the quality, availability or price of any goods or services in a market?

The reformed packaging EPR system will not directly affect consumers as the aim is to place responsibility for the full net costs of the collection, recycling and management of municipal packaging waste with the packaging producer.

However, in amending business models to incorporate disposal costs, producers may choose to pass on some of this cost to consumers through increasing the price of their products. This impact could potentially also vary by product type – for example, packaging which cannot be redesigned to be made easier to recycle could have a greater cost pass through impact. Any such decision would be a commercial one for industry to take, but this 'cost pass through' effect will be further considered for the final BRIA.

Does the policy affect the essential services market, such as energy or water?

Packaging EPR will support the effective delivery of waste collection services (specifically packaging waste) by local authorities by creating a new source of funding for these activities and incentivising local authorities to delivery efficient and effective services. We have engaged, and will continue to engage, with local authorities, waste-management companies, and other key stakeholders as they adjust their services to prepare for the introduction of packaging EPR.

Does the policy involve storage or increased use of consumer data?


Does the policy increase opportunities for unscrupulous suppliers to target consumers?

No. Effective regulation should minimise the risk of suppliers placing packaging on the Scottish market without paying the legally required scheme fees; such behaviour would not affect consumers. In fact, increased transparency means that the likelihood of this happening is lower than in the current system.

Does the policy impact the information available to consumers on either goods or services, or their rights in relation to these?

Yes, positively. One component of the reformed packaging EPR system is better consumer communication and mandatory recyclability labelling to provide a clear and concise message to the disposer. This is expected to benefit consumers in that they would be better informed on what packaging is recyclable, potentially influencing buying decisions and improving recycling rates.

Does the policy affect routes for consumers to seek advice or raise complaints on consumer issues?




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