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UK - Government delays start of packaging EPR reform and reduces cost to producers - 29 March 2022
The government’s response to the stakeholder comments about the second consultation on the reform of packaging EPR notably confirms the delay of the implementation schedule by 1 year (to 2024), and removes the controversial and costly proposal to apply the new EPR mechanism also to business packaging waste. This waste stream is to be subject to a revised version of the current PRN system at least until 2027 (a consultation on PRN reform is published alongside the EPR response). A UK-wide Statutory Instrument to regulate the new system is due to be put before Parliament in Spring 2023.
Here is a summary of the government's 26-Mar-22 response to over 1,200 stakeholder comments received to the Mar-21 consultation on packaging EPR reform. Note: Government responses to the DRS consultation and the consistent collection consultation are yet to be released.
Key points: Implementation delayed by 1 year; Non-household packaging subject to improved PRN system, not new EPR regime
The government confirmed the delay of the new EPR system by 1 year to 2024, as expected after significant industry push back over the original 2023 proposal.
Packaging waste from businesses will not be subject to the EPR regime, as was originally proposed. A multi-industry task force will be established to further explore other management and payment options. As an interim solution, the current Packaging Waste Recycling Note (PRN) system will revised and continue to be used up to 2027. Note: The removal of the business waste obligation reduces the estimated cost of the system by GBP 1 billion to 1.7 billion. The revised financial impact assessment estimates that net producer cost will be GBP 25 per capita (originally estimated at GBP 40), which is still a significant increase from the cost of the existing system (GBP 1 to 5 per capita).
Alongside the EPR response, the government opened a Consultation on PRN Reform in view of improving the effectiveness of the current system.
Governance and PROs of the new EPR regime
- The government will develop an EPR regulation (Statutory Instrument (SI)) in 2022, with a view to laying it in UK Parliament in Spring-23. The SI will be a single UK-wide SI made using powers in the Nov-21 Environment Act.
- The government will appoint a Scheme Administrator (SA) of the EPR scheme in 2023. This will likely be a public body, but government intends to maintain significant industry involvement in its development and delivery of functions. The SA should be fully operational by 2024 and its performance will be reviewed after the first two years of operations.
- Currently approved packaging PROs will be able to operate under the new EPR regulations until the end of the 2024 compliance year. PROs wishing to continue to operate after 2024 - supporting producer's data submissions - would need to apply for approval under the new EPR regulations.
Financing and exemptions for small producers
- The government confirms that the DRS will be ‘all in’ covering drinks packaging from 50ml to 3L. However, with regards to glass drink bottles different approaches are favoured: In England and Northern Ireland, they will be subject to EPR (rather than the upcoming DRS). The Welsh government intends to maintain it’s "all-in" DRS and include glass bottles. Scotland’s DRS - which is managed separately from the others - will continue to include glass bottles.
- There will also be a mandatory take-back scheme for ‘coffee cups’* which will be introduced from 2024. Sellers that employ 10 or more people will be required to provide a dedicated bin for their separate collection. *”fibre-based composite cups”
- England and Northern Ireland will not introduce payments for littered waste; Scotland and Wales may do so, and would obligate producers via separate proposals.
- Recyclable plastic film and flexible packaging will be collected for recycling from Mar-27
- Modulated fees to reflect recyclability will be introduced from 2025 (originally 2024). Recyclability assessments will be conducted from Oct-24. The SA will try to provide a long term view of modulated fee costs (3 to 5 years) to allow industry to make decisions on pricing and packaging use/design. Producers will pay EPR fees quarterly, based on POM in the previous year.
- The thresholds for exempting small producers ("obligation threshold") of GBP 2m turnover and 50 tons of packaging handled will be maintained for financing obligations, but a producers exceeding GBP 1 m and 25 tons will be subject to POM reporting obligations.
- Online marketplaces based outside of the UK but selling goods in the country will be considered producers.
- A single recyclability labelling format will be developed, and be mandatory on all packaging from Apr-26.
- All compostable and biodegradable packaging will require ‘do not recycle’ labelling until there is a better understanding of their environmental impacts.
The new EPR scheme will have annual material recycling targets and an overall recycling target. In 2023, the 2022 packaging waste targets apply. Targets for 2024 and 2030 have been set (see table below). Targets for the intervening years will be set in due course. Targets for wood will be subject to ongoing assessments, including options for setting re-use targets for wooden pallets.
Poland - Draft proposes to introduce DRS or pay potentially prohibitive product fees - 4 March 2022
A draft amendment to the Packaging Act proposes to subject single-use plastic beverage containers and reusable glass bottles to a DRS or to the payment of a “product fee” of up to EUR 5,200 per tonne. The draft is part of the on-going overhaul of the country’s packaging regime and complements an Aug-21 draft amendment to Packaging Act which proposes to introduce a “packaging fee” to finance of municipal packaging waste collection.
Background: Poland’s current household packaging waste management regime has so far been largely financed by municipalities (estimates of the contribution by producers are as low as a few eurocents per capita compared to EUR 8 to 20 per capita elsewhere). Since the last elections in May-19, the Government has planned an overhaul of the household packaging waste legislation to meet the requirements of the CEP – notably to have producers finance the full cost (or at least 80%) of packaging waste management – and SUPD’s collection targets for SUP beverage bottles. This overhaul would be built on 2 pillars:
Key provisions of the proposed DRS
- Municipalities would continue to collect waste packaging but producers would a) pay a ‘packaging fee’ to a state fund municipalities’ collection and b) finance PROs to take-back packaging waste from municipalities. A draft amendment to Packaging detailing these provisions was under consultations in Aug-21 and has yet to progress.
- By-passing municipal collection, a DRS would be applied to single-use plastic and reusable packaging.
The draft amendment to the Packaging Act introducing DRS provisions was released for public consultation from 31-Jan-22 to 2-Mar-22. It is proposed to enter into force on 1-Jan-23. Producers would have 2 years – until end 2024 – to establish a DRS. As regards the scope and enforcement mechanism, the Draft proposes to
* Single-use glass beverage containers are collected within the municipal collection system and are therefore not proposed to be included. However, critics argue that including these into the DRS would allow for more efficient separation of colored bottles.
- require producers of drinks – defined as juice, nectar, milk, yoghurt and other drinkable dairy product and alcoholic drink (Art. 8 7a) – in SUP plastic containers of up to 3L and reusable glass* bottles up to 1.5L** to join a DRS (Art. 40.g.5);
- require producers that do not join a DRS pay 100% of the “product fee”**, newly set for the DRS packages at the a maximum of PLN 25 per kg (EUR 5,200 per tonne) (Art. 34 b1a) *“product fee” or “product charge”- not to be confused with the planned “packaging fee”*** - is currently charged to producers on the shortfall to their collection targets. The currently allowed maximum rate is PLN 4.5 per kg;
- apply collection targets to the packages subject to the DRS. The target levels are in line with those of the SUPD: 77% in 2025, increasing annually to 90% in 2029 (Annex 1);
- require producers that have joined a DRS but that do not meet the collection targets to pay 50% of the product fee on the shortfall to the target (Art. 34 b 1b);
** Environment Minister Jacek Ozdoba had previously indicated that the DRS may be extended to aluminium containers later. Aluminium containers already have a recycling rate of 80% in Poland currently.
*** The justification to the Draft explain that it is also planned to introduce a provision exempting DRS packaging from the upcoming ‘packaging fee’ – proposed in the Aug-21 amendment to the Packaging Act – if certain conditions (i.e. return rates) are met.
DRS lightly regulated; Single DRS operator not mandated
As regards the DRS, the Draft proposes to add a new Chapter 6b “Deposit System” into the Act. The chapter
* DRS Operator: The Draft requires DRS’ to be implemented by an ‘operator’, to be established individually or jointly by producers. An operator must be a Polish joint stock or limited liability company, only perform certain activities related and be permitted by the Ministry. To avoid a monopolization of the regime in a market that currently facilitates 74 registered packaging PROs, the Draft does not limit the number of DRS operators and as such, allows the possibility for the establishment of multiple DRS’ operating in parallel. Multiple-DRS models are uncommon in the EU due to the potential complications and resulting competition issues between them.
- allows for the establishment of multiple DRS operators* and in effect, the operation of parallel DRS’. A DRS requires a permit from the Ministry and must meet two fundamental requirements: a) cover the national territory, and b) not require proof of purchase for the deposit to be returned;
- leaves all the operational and administrative details to be decided by industry – including the level of the deposit amounts**, the take-back mechanisms*** and launch dates;
- requires retailers of any size to charge a deposit, while only retailers with a sales area of over 100sqm are required to take-back DRS packaging [Note: Currently retailers with a sales area of over 2,000 m2 must collect waste packaging from packaged products sold];
- requires the markings on DRS packaging to be standardised, consisting of a contrasted box containing the word “KAUCJA” (“DEPOSIT”) and the deposit amount below it.
** The deposit amount is not set and no instruments are defined to minimize fraud. If multiple DRS’ are operational, deposit amounts could vary, creating unhealthy competition by applying the lowest amounts [Notes: In Mar-21, it was announced that deposits would be set per packaging type and would perhaps differ according to the pigmentation applied to glass or plastic. In neighboring countries deposit amounts currently range from EUR 0.02 – 0.05 per unit].
*** The Draft allows flexibility in the choice/combination of return mechanism(s) used (i.e. return-to-retailer points and the use of reverse vending machines).
International - Adopted Resolution paves the way for a legally binding UN Plastic Pollution Treaty - 4 March 2022
An Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee will prepare a draft legally binding global treaty by end 2024 to universally address plastic pollution in all environments - through either legal obligations or voluntary approaches (or a mixture thereof) - taking into account the full plastics lifecycle.
On 2-Mar-22, 175 nations endorsed a Resolution at the Fifth Session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) to develop an international legally binding “Global Plastic Pollution Treaty”. The Resolution establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) which will convene in H2-2022 to start developing the Treaty, with a Draft scheduled for publication in 2024. An INC working group – open to stakeholders from all UN Member States – will meet in H1-2022 to prepare the timetable and organisation of work. A formal progress report will be presented at UNEA 6 (date TBD).
The Resolution is largely based on the well supported Sep-21 Draft Resolution put forward by Peru and Rwanda, while combining some elements of the Japanese and Indian proposals - namely the specific mention of marine impacts (per the Japanese Draft), and the consideration of voluntary approaches (per the Indian Draft).
Key objectives of the Treaty
The resolution calls for development of a Treaty that meets the following objectives:-
Background and context
- Address plastic pollution across all environments, with specific focus on marine impacts. Note: the resolution specifically mentions the inclusion of microplastics.
- A transboundary approach that considers the full lifecycle of plastics (and any alternatives), including product design, consumption, and waste management.
- Promote product and material eco-design for ease of reuse, remanufacture and recycling, so as to retain economic value for as long as possible (i.e. following circular economy principles).
- Develop, implement and update national action plans which are complimentary to each other.
- Specify national reporting requirements towards prevention, reduction, and elimination of plastic pollution, with periodic progress assessments.
- Encourage action by all stakeholders – including the private sector.
- Develop a financing mechanism: prior to adoption, UNEPs Executive Director said “concessional financing in the form of debt, equity or guarantee financing could help catalyse the shift for businesses… while EPR could be an interesting vehicle to innovate with”.
Pressure has been mounting on governments to produce a legally binding treaty since Oct-20 when the “Business Case for a UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution” was put forward by the WWF and Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The manifesto accompanying the report has been signed by over 120 leading companies including financial institutions, producers, brand owners, retailers and waste management organisations. In addition, more than 2.2 million people signed a WWF petition calling for the international treaty – the highest response in the organisations history – and as of Feb-22, 125 countries had called for a new global agreement.
The first Draft Resolution to gain traction was published by the governments of Peru and Rwanda in Sep-21, a few days before a WWF Report estimated the societal lifetime costs of plastic produced in 2019 at USD 3.7 trillion, and explicitly called for a UN Treaty to address this.
- Defra’s EPR decisions – live reaction; After Defra’s decisions on the way ahead for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) were published at the weekend, reactions are coming in. eadline policy proposals include the removal of the £1 billion plans by Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) for the collection of business waste packaging, the introducing of kerbside film collections by 2027 and a continuation of the current PRN system.
- Over three quarters of British businesses ‘still unaware’ of Plastic Packaging Tax; Research conducted by YouGov, on behalf of Veolia, explored the views of British-based senior decision makers across retail and manufacturing businesses on the incoming Plastic Packaging Tax.
- EU plans for mandatory textile EPR to tackle 'fast fashion'; EPR schemes across the EU would be harmonised, along with modulated fees to encourage sustainability. As part of a package of measures under a ‘Green Deal’, the Commission’s Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles also proposes new ecodesign requirements for textiles and a digital product passport.
- Council directors: ‘EPR funds could be diverted from packaging collection’; Steve Read, chair of Adept’s Environment Board, said: “We urge Defra to release the response to the DRS and consistency in household and business recycling consultations as soon as possible after the local government elections in May. This is stymieing investment in both collection and processing infrastructure.”
- McLaren Packaging donates £50 per employee to Ukraine crisis relief; McLaren Packaging Group, a specialist supplier to the Scotch Whisky industry, is donating £14,200, £50 for each of its 284 employees, in support of the Ukrainian crisis.
- Retailers and glass sector herald 'escape' from deposit return scheme; Support has come from the food, retail and glass sectors for the decision to remove glass from the deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers in England and Northern Ireland. In response to concerns that glass bottles would increase collection costs if they were included in a DRS, the Government decided to include glass under wider extended producer responsibility (EPR) measures.
- Alupro sets out ‘key asks’ in aluminium manifesto; It states the role of rejuvenated legislation and innovative and consistent consumer engagement in driving a strong circular economy in the UK is ‘pivotal’ and says close collaboration between industry actors and the government is needed to deliver a ‘world-class recycling system’.
- Why are we burning our recycling?; Almost 90% of people in the UK recycle. But more than a tenth of everything we put out for recycling in this country is being burned. Why is this happening? Josh Toussaint-Strauss explores how local authorities have ended up incinerating so much of our recycling and what impact this is having on the environment.
- Central Pharma sets up in-house recycle plant; Following a successful application for a government grant, Central Pharma has installed an in-house recycling plant that can recycle all blister pack materials into a powder-based material that can be re-used to create new blister packs.
- Concerns over ‘significant watering-down’ of EPR proposals; Following the Government’s response to the publication of a summary of responses on its Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) consultation, the CIWM has expressed concerns over a ‘significant watering-down’ of some of the original proposals.
- Pret A Manger becomes first food-to-go retailer to join Podback; The company becomes the first UK food-to-go retailer to join the scheme, which was created by Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts UK. The move is aimed to help customers to recycle their aluminium Pret at-home coffee pods.
- Defra announces EPR delay and drops business waste collections; Modulated fees based on recyclability will be introduced from 2025, rather than 2024. It is dropping plans for the collection of business waste packaging (thus reducing overall cost to £1.7bn), introducing mandatory kerbside film and plastic collections by 2027 and a mandatory takeback scheme for coffee cups. The government is insisting reforms will ensure businesses – rather than consumers – are responsible for the cost of dealing with packaging when it becomes waste, and revenue raised will be invested in better collections for households.
- New waste management system to ‘revolutionise’ Terracycle operations; TerraCycle and Evreka, a Sustainability as a Service company that specialises in waste management tracking, have announced the implementation of cutting-edge waste management technology that uses real-time, optimised data that Terracycle says will ‘revolutionise’ the waste collection operations for all TerraCycle waste streams.
- Morrisons introduces 'rentable' boxes at in-store salad bars; The Refill a Box scheme is the first of its kind to be trialled by a UK supermarket – taking place at the Morrisons stores in Wimbledon, Wakefield, Catcliffe and Cleethorpes. Each ‘rentable’ box will replace Morrisons large salad box and is made from fully recyclable polypropylene.
- Industry issues plea to help Ukrainian packaging professionals; The Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA), the On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL), INCPEN and the Packaging Federation have linked-up with additional support from Packaging Innovations. The group have issued a plea for UK packaging producers to help create a website.
- Report: Widescale shift to circular economy needed for NHS to meet 2040 net zero goal; New research by the University of Exeter and Philips UK&I urges the NHS and its suppliers to systemically adopt circular economy (CE) practices in order to meet the NHS’s net zero by 2040 target and improve patient care.
- Protega to showcase UK manufactured paper bubble wrap at IntraLogistex; Hexcel Wrap can be wrapped around products to offer protection as good as plastic bubble, but without the impact on the environment, said the company.
- New report aims to boost Surrey’s confidence in recycling; The report, the second of its kind produced by SEP, follows recent research carried out by the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment that shows citizens have variable confidence levels across Great Britain on whether recyclates are actually recycled after they’re collected, and links increased confidence to positive behaviours related to waste and recycling.
- How UK shoppers can buy beautifully ethical flowers; British-grown blooms have a lower carbon footprint, and plastic-free delivery is now an option.
- BPF online tool helps to identify what qualifies for PPT; The tool, built upon knowledge provided by the consultancy firm EY, is available for free and is available on the BPF website.
- The Royal Mint to build plant to turn UK’s electronic waste into gold; The Royal Mint has announced plans to build a plant in South Wales to recover gold from UK electronic waste. The facility, one of the first in the UK, will help address a growing environmental issue of e-waste, support jobs and skills in Britain, and create a new source of high-quality precious metals for the business.
- Veolia announces the launch of Kingston Council’s first fully electric collection fleet; Kingston Council has approved Veolia’s proposal to introduce a fleet of electric Refuse Collection Vehicles (eRCVs). Veolia, Kingston Council’s recycling and waste collections partner, will operate the new e-collection vehicles, which will make collection services in Kingston fully electric for the first time.
- Currys launches new ‘long live your tech’ customer commitment; Currys, the UK’s largest omnichannel technology retailer, has announced a new ‘Long Live Your Tech’ commitment aimed at tackling e-waste. The new commitment sets out to educate, support and help consumers to make ‘more informed choices’ when buying and disposing of tech.
- Wales rolls out fishing gear recycling scheme; Wales is taking action against marine litter as it becomes the first UK nation to introduce a recycling scheme for fishing gear.
The first collection, which took place today on Global Recycling Day (March 18), has proved a huge success, with some three tonnes of fishing gear collected for recycling from seven harbours around Wales.
- Environment Act: UK government proposes new legally binding targets; A proposed target to half the waste that ends up in landfill or is incinerated by 2042 has been announced by the UK government as part of a raft of new environmental targets. The proposed targets will be a ‘cornerstone’ of the government’s Environment Act which passed into law in November last year, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The proposed targets cover water, air quality and the diversity of wildlife and include halving the waste that ends up at landfill or incineration by 2042.
- Starbucks trial offers returnable cup as alternative to single-use; Starbucks has recently launched its first returnable cup program in Canary Wharf, London, to increase reusable cup use.
- Chancellor urged to review tax treatment for red diesel; A cross-sector letter has been sent to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, urging for a review of tax treatment for red diesel.
- Commission highlights “slow progress” on infrastructure plans; The government is at risk of failing to deliver the aims of its National Infrastructure Strategy unless it ‘picks up the pace’ with detailed policy design and implementation, the UK’s official independent infrastructure adviser has warned.
- Study highlights ‘vital role’ of aluminium cans in a circular economy; Research commissioned by the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) into the recycling of three beverage container materials – aluminium, glass and plastic (PET) – suggests aluminium cans ‘best support a circular economy’. The study suggests that compared with aluminium cans, more glass and plastic bottles end up in landfills because they are not collected. In addition, the losses in the recycling system once collected, is three times higher for PET and glass bottles than for the aluminium cans.
- British Glass survey finds Gen Z prefers glass packaging; The survey showed 95% of Generation Z respondents – those born between 1997-2012 – preferred glass as a material option.
- Scotland to propose ban on destruction of unsold goods; Proposals for a ban will be put forward in a consultation on a new Circular Economy Bill, to be published in May. It is intended to address public concerns about unsold products being destroyed or ending up in landfill. Retailers may be required to look for other options for unsold products, including donating and recycling them. The proposal follows reports from ITV last year (2021) that online retail giant Amazon destroys millions of items of unsold stock every year, products that are often new and unused.
- Colgate expands use of LiquiGlide’s EveryDrop technology; LiquiGlide has announced that Colgate will be expanding the availability of its clear, recyclable toothpaste package enabled by LiquiGlide’s EveryDrop technology to Canada.
- Sparck hits 100 million ‘fit-to-size’ box milestone; Sparck Technologies has produced over 100 million boxes on its ‘fit-to-size’ packaging machines worldwide.
- A quarter 25% of Londoners say they repair more since the pandemic; Ahead of London’s second Repair Week (14-20 March), new research by London Recycles suggests the pandemic has accelerated more of a repair culture. The research suggests a quarter (25%) of Londoners saying they’re repairing more because of their ‘slower lifestyle enforced by the pandemic’.
- Just Eat launches ‘Waste Less’ chip portion trial to reduce food waste; A new study, the Food Waste Race, undertaken by Just Eat and environmental charity Hubbub and published ahead of Food Waste Action Week, has found that chips are the most wasted takeaway food. With 72% of the study’s participants saying they had leftover chips after eating their takeaway meals, Just Eat is launching a trial with a group of restaurant partners on its platform to give customers the option of a smaller chip portion size.
- FPA criticises Defra Minister over litter comments; The Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) has challenged Defra Minister Lord Goldsmith to issue an apology after he appeared to admit habitually littering.
- Women ‘more vulnerable’ to climate change impacts than men – UN Women; Advancing global gender equality in the context of climate change and disaster risk reduction is one of the ‘greatest global challenges’ of the 21st century, according to UN Women. The theme for International Women’s Day (8 March) this year was “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.
- HP confident of its Choose Packaging acquisition success; With the integration of Choose into its personalisation and 3D Printing business, HP said it will focus on scaling its technology and customer footprint to expand the addressable market.
- School kids to participate in largest collection of e-waste in UK; Not for profit environmental education company, Wastebuster, has announced the launch of a “Hidden Treasure Hunt” competition for school kids delivered through a new partnership with Currys, Microsoft, and Recycle Your Electricals.
Waste Week 2022, which runs from 7-13 March 2022, is calling on over 3.8 million students and parents to make this the largest collection of e-waste in the UK.
- Veolia highlights Energy Recovery Facilities as stable source of UK power; By achieving an average of more than 96% across 2021, the ten operating plants have delivered around 1.52TWh of electricity, enough power to supply nearly 460,000 homes, it says.
- Smurfit Kappa takes circular approach to local conservation project; Smurfit Kappa has provided 240,000 tonnes of excess soil to the ‘Park in the Past’ project, a local heritage and conservation project in Wales. The soil, which became available due to an expansion at its Mold facility, has been repurposed to create the foundation for an ambitious community development including an authentic Roman fort.
- Pro-Direct pays charity £20,000 for failing two ‘crucial’ packaging regulations; Sportswear and accessory retailer, Pro-Direct Group Ltd, has made a payment to Devon Wildlife Trust of nearly £20,000 for failing two ‘crucial’ packaging regulations. The Environment Agency accepted an Enforcement Undertaking* (EU) from the Newton Abbot-based firm for failure to register as a packaging producer and not taking steps to recover and recycle its packaging waste under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007.
- Polypropylene giant Braskem joins Nextek’s NEXTLOOPP; Brazilian thermoplastic resins producer Braskem has joined Nextek’s NEXTLOOPP to create food-grade recycled Polypropylene (FGrPP) from post-consumer packaging waste.
- Viridor’s new £317m plastics reprocessing centre officially opens; Resources and Waste Minister Jo Churchill MP officially opened Viridor’s state-of-the-art Resource Recovery Centre at Avonmouth near Bristol.
- Coveris supports Irish Dog Food recyclable pack switch; Irish Dog Food, a leading pet food producer in Ireland and the UK, has teamed up with its packaging supplier, Coveris, to design their first recyclable bags in bigger sizes.
- Individuals can make ‘huge difference’ in combating climate change; New research based on evidence from the University of Leeds suggests it’s not just governments and business that can make a difference with climate change as it asks people to make ‘The Jump’. The research, The Power of People, sought to find out whether individuals and communities could help tackle climate change or whether a difference could be made by government and industry.
- Artisan Coffee Co. partners with coffee pod recycling service Podback; Its customers can now add free Podback bags to their orders of coffee pods. Once received they can put their used coffee pods in the bags and have them recycled either by dropping them off at Collect+ delivered by Yodel sites or through kerbside collection, where, in certain local authorities, pods will be collected with their usual household recycling.
- Food Waste Action Week | Wasting food feeds climate change; The second annual Food Waste Action Week begins today, Monday 7 March, with television presenter Gregg Wallace taking the reins to raise people’s awareness of the huge impact of household food waste on climate change and share practical advice, food savvy behaviours and tips on how we can all easily reduce the food we waste in our homes. Particular attention is being paid to the UFOs that get stuck in our freezer and never find their way onto our plates.
- Government delays introduction of EPR with no new timeline; Defra would continue with the PRN system through 2023 but there is no timeline for when EPR will be introduced. The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) warned that that the delay could be until 2030.
- Manchester City, Etihad Airways install plastic bottle recycling pods; As part of the airlines Recycle, Reward, Repeat initiative, the pods will allow fans to recycle plastic bottles and earn Etihad rewards.
- UN backs resolution to combat plastic pollution; A UN resolution has been passed to address the full lifecycle of plastic, including production, design and disposal, in a bid to combat plastic pollution.
- CEFLEX links with UKRI to bolster flexible packaging recycling strategy; The coloration will co-fund investigations into how flexible packaging can be best designed to be sorted and recycled. A testing programme will draw on a network of laboratories, universities and industry experts to generate data, to update and improve the Designing for a Circular Economy guidelines. These were first issued in 2020.
- Smart Sustainable Plastic Challenge £30m funded projects announced; UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) Challenge announced £30m funding for 18 innovative collaborative projects that support the achievement of the UK Plastics Pact and have the potential to alter the UK’s relationship with, and management of, plastic packaging.