The Recycling Association has welcomed the Government’s response to the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Consultation
In its original response to the Consultation, The Recycling Association had criticised the proposals on business waste for looking to fundamentally change the way these materials were collected. It warned that the original proposals could have put some of its Member companies out of business.
The Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said: “Our Members will be breathing a sigh of relief this morning that their businesses and the jobs they create would not be ended by Government policy.
“The decision to set up a taskforce to look at how business waste collection can be funded by EPR is a sensible one, and a timescale of up to 2026/7 gives plenty of opportunity to come up with good proposals that work in the interests of recycling and waste businesses, producers, retailers and other stakeholders.
“Business waste collections work well, and only need slight improvements to continue to work effectively. This will be the position of The Recycling Association and one we will advocate via the taskforce.
“We also welcome that the PRN/PERN system will stay in place until at least this date, as it gives some certainty to our Members. It is a system that largely works, but we agree with the need for reform to remove the fraudulent operators that have undermined the system.
“For those that export, the proposals look like ones we can work with. It remains disappointing that there is no aim to introduce maximum contamination limits so that exporters know the criteria to operate legally, rather than the uncertainty we have now.
“However, we support the idea of the UK moving to end-of-waste for fibre and we hope that this can be incorporated into EPR.
“I’m also pleased to see that the Scheme Administrator will be a public body. This reduces the risk that it will be influenced by one particular sector, but is likely to take into account the needs of all stakeholders.
“Overall, I’m pleased to see that Defra has recognised the strengths of its original EPR proposals, but also addressed many of the weaknesses.
“However, with the Consistency of Collections and Deposit Return Scheme responses not published yet, the devil will be in the detail when it comes to the overall bigger picture.
“EPR has the potential to transform the recycling sector for the better, and along with consistency of collections, is likely to lead to the UK producing high quality recyclate. That can only be a positive.”