EPR: Are You Prepared?

What is EPR?

EPR stands for Extended Producer Responsibility. It’s new UK legislation that will require manufacturers and producers (rather than local government or consumers) to pay the full cost of managing their packaging waste from when it goes on the market, to the end of its life.

Replacing the current Packaging Waste Regulations, the idea behind EPR is to promote sustainable practices throughout the whole lifecycle of a product.

Is My Business Affected?

The new EPR obligations affect all UK businesses that handle or supply packaging. You are obliged to comply with the new regulations if:

  • You’re an individual business, subsidiary or group (not a charity)
  • You’re a Small Producer – you have an annual turnover of £1-2 million & responsible for handling 25-50 tonnes of packaging in a calendar year.

You’re a Large Producer – you were responsible for more than 50 tonnes of packaging in 2022.

What Does EPR Mean For My Business?

Are You Ready For EPR blog image with person wearing high viz

The main change that producers large and small will see under the new legislation is the amount, frequency and level of detail required for collecting and reporting packaging data. 

Large producers will need to submit data every six months (in April and October) and it’s expected that small producers will have to do the same.

As well as submitting data about the amount of packaging handled and supplied, organisations will also need to submit detailed data about that packaging, including:

  • Packaging activity – ie, how you supplied the packaging.
  • Packaging type – for example, household or non-household.
  • Packaging class – whether it’s primary, secondary, shipment or tertiary.
  • Packaging material and weight.

Inevitably, the new packaging data collection and reporting obligations will require an increase in company personnel and/or working hours and lead to an associated rise in costs. The implementation of waste management fees (in 2024-25) and environmental regulator fees (for large producers) will also mean a hike in costs for businesses.

Your waste management fees for the year 2024-2025 will be calculated using the packaging data you provide for 2023, as will the amount of PRNS (purchase packaging waste recycling notes) and PERNS (packaging waste export recycling notes) you need to buy to cover your recycling operations for 2024. Therefore, it’s crucial that your 2023 data collection and reporting strategies are both robust and meticulous.

What Action Do I Need To Take?

To implement EPR, the UK Government has created an online registration platform called Report Packaging Data (RPD). Large producers have been obligated to register on this platform since August 16th 2023, but registration will open in January 2024 for small producers.

To make sure you’re fully prepared for EPR, the actions that you need to take depend on the size of your business.

Small Producers 

  • Record data about all the empty packaging and packaging items you handled and supplied through the UK market, as of January 1st 2023.
  • Register for the EPR packaging online service (registration for small producers opens in 2024).
  • Submit your data about the empty packaging and packaged products you handled or supplied through the UK market throughout 2023.

NOTE: The data for 2023 will need to be submitted between January 1st 2024 and April 1st 2024. Any missed payments will result in a penalty charge.

Large Producers 

  • Record data about the empty packaging and packaged products handled and supplied within the UK from January 1st 2023.
  • Register for the EPR packaging online service from August 16th 2023.
  • Pay a fee for the environmental regulator.
  • Purchase packaging waste recycling notes (PRNs) or packaging waste export recycling notes (PERNS) to meet recycling obligations in 2024.

For full information and guidance about the ERP regulations, visit Gov.UK

Get EPR Ready: How Cambrian Can Help

Here at Cambrian, we’re committed to guiding our customers through the EPR process and ensuring their transition to the new regulations is smooth and trouble-free.

We believe a big part of adapting to new EPR responsibilities is thinking ahead to assess the plastic packaging options available to you and consider the recyclability of those options, to make sure you’re optimizing your business practices for EPR in the most compliant yet cost effective way possible.

By upgrading your packaging and pursuing more sustainable options, you can markedly improve your eco-friendly credentials, comply with EPR rules AND reduce costs for your business.

Assessing and analysing our customers’ current packaging solutions and helping them find more sustainable and EPR compliant alternatives is Step 2 of our valuable  5-step process, which we devised to help our customers find brilliant, cost effective and sustainable packaging solutions that fully comply with all UK regulations and guidelines.

  1. FREE consultation – a chat about your packaging requirements at a time convenient to you.
  2. Analyse current packaging – to assess recyclability and how far it helps you meet your EPR commitments.
  3. Specify more sustainable and cost effective packaging alternatives – to help ensure EPR compliance AND reduce costs.
  4. Send out FREE samples of these alternatives for you to test independently against your product – try our Free Samples Service today!
  5. Deliver your new packaging directly to you.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions at all about EPR and how it affects your business. And stay tuned to our website and social channels for EPR updates!

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