Now is the time to deal responsibly and effectively with the upcoming legislative risk.

UK Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging is not going away! Now is the time to deal responsibly and effectively with the upcoming legislative risk. 

EPR is complex, multi-dimensional and continuously evolving. So, it is not surprising that many businesses in the horticultural industry face challenges in understanding EPR, its potential impact on their business, and how best to integrate EPR with existing business needs. However, it is not something that is just going to go away and now is the time to deal with reporting and reduce your risk of non-compliance enforcement action.

Below is a reminder on what reporting is required and deadlines, plus further information about the webinars that Ecoveritas will be running specifically for the horticultural industry over the coming months to help Garden Centres, Growers, Nurseries, and Landscapers navigate EPR reporting.

UK EPR fees have been delayed

Defra is delaying the responsibility to pay new waste management fees, commonly referred to as ‘EPR fees’. The fees are intended to cover the net costs of local authority household waste management services, and were previously due to start in October 2024 to cover obligations for the packaging placed on the market across 2023. The introduction of these fees has been postponed by 12 months, so now obligated businesses will start paying EPR fees in October 2025 for packaging placed on the market across 2024.

UK EPR reporting is not delayed

Obligations to report packaging data in the new way, based on new producer categories (i.e. brand owner, importer, online marketplace, etc.) and the principle of single-party responsibility, passed into law in March 2023. Despite delaying EPR fees, Defra has not altered these data reporting laws. As such, large producers are still required to collect and report their packaging data for EPR.

Producers still have to fund the recycling of packaging next year and therefore dual reporting is required.

You will be classed as a large producer if you have an annual turnover of £2 million or more and you’re responsible for supplying or importing more than 50 tonnes of empty packaging or packaged goods in the UK.

You’re classed as a small producer if either your annual turnover is between £1 million and £2 million and you’re responsible for supplying or importing more than 25 tonnes of empty packaging or packaged goods in the UK or your annual turnover is over £1 million and you’re responsible for supplying or importing between 25 tonnes and 50 tonnes of empty packaging or packaged goods in the UK.

In December, DEFRA announced further delays to small producer and nation of sale reporting. The original deadlines were set for 1 April and 1 December 2024, relating to 2023 placed on market figures. We now expect the first deadline for small producers to submit data to be 1 April 2025 and for nation of sale reporting to be in July 2025 to report 2024 data.  However, small producers and those impacted by nation of sale obligations are still required to calculate and retain their obligation data relating to 2023.

The delays are a result of the ‘main’ EPR regulations that will revoke the current the Packaging Waste Producer Responsibility Regulations 2007 not being passed yet and the 2023 EPR data reporting regulations requiring further changes in 2024.

EPR fees were also due to be introduced as part of the new statutory instrument that would replace the Packaging Waste Producer Responsibility Regulations 2007; however, the 2007 regulations will now remain in place for an additional year. This means that producers will have two pieces of legislation to comply with for 2024:

What does this mean for 2024 packaging compliance?

Costs in 2024 will be on the same basis as they are in the current system (environment agency registration + PRN costs + your compliance scheme membership fees). The significant additional costs for collection of packaging waste from households will not be passed on to producers until 2025.

What does this mean for packaging data reporting?

For packaging handled/placed on the UK market in 2023, Producers will need to collect and report data under two systems!

Packaging handled – as required by the current Packaging Waste Regulations

Packaging placed on the market – as required by the various national Packaging Waste (Data Reporting) Regulations

*Back in September Defra released a regulatory position statement (RPS) confirming that whilst the first two packaging EPR reporting deadlines for large producers remained unchanged, no enforcement action would be taken if they submitted by 31 May 2024. Defra made clear that the RPS did not change the legal requirement for large producers to report their 2023 H1 and H2 data to the Environment Agency on or before 1 October 2023 and 1 April 2024, respectively and “encouraged obligated producers to use all reasonable endeavours” to do so.

Still clear as mud?! Don’t worry, just get in touch with Ecoveritas to discuss any concerns about EPR and data reporting in more detail.

 

Please visit our dedicated website for horticulture here or speak to one of our advisors on +44 (0)1865 721375 to find out how we can help.

 

Why not bolster your Extended Producer Responsibility grow-how by coming to one of our EPR webinars exclusive to the horticultural Industry:

Our dedicated free-to-attend webinars provide key updates on data reporting obligations, the scheme’s protracted rollout, and demonstrate Ecoveritas’ tool to support the industry with their reporting.

While there are rafts of information out there causing confusion and indecision, we can keep it simple and our webinars are a way of supporting businesses looking to manage their obligations relating to producer responsibility.

Please see below available dates for our webinar on: EPR data reporting obligations; where we are in terms of rollout and demonstration of our sought-after platform my.ecoveritas, which makes light work of EPR reporting. Each webinar will be limited to 10 attendees to allow for businesses to ask one-to-one questions directly to our consultants in the Q&A session. With the 31st May reporting deadline looming, book now to reserve your space!

23rd April 2024 – 10.30am-12pm – To register to attend the webinar please click here.

1st May 2024 – 10.30am-12pm – To register to attend the webinar please click here.

15th May 2024 – 10.30am-12pm – To register to attend the webinar please click here.