Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Consultation on changes to the Producer Responsibility regimes for batteries and packaging

The Department of the Environment has published a consultation paper as part of a UK-wide consultation seeking views on proposals to amend the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007, the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging waste) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 and the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009.

Who will the proposals be of greatest interest to?

  • Packaging ‘producers’, as defined in the Packaging Regulations;
  • Batteries producers;
  • Packaging and batteries compliance schemes;
  • Waste Collection and Disposal Authorities
  • Reprocessors and exporters of waste packaging and batteries

Others who may have an interest include Waste management companies involved in the collection of packaging batteries; any research institutions, groups or individuals with a particular interest in packaging waste, batteries, or recycling; manufacturers and importers and trade associations.

What are the Proposals?

Batteries

For the batteries regime the proposal is to:

  • Remove the requirement for compliance schemes to develop, agree, follow and update an operational plan.  The relevant agency would no longer annually confirm the compliance scheme’s approval following receipt of an updated plan.
  • Remove the requirement for an independent audit report.
  • Enable producers to delegate the signing of reporting and monitoring requirements to the most appropriate person in agreement with the relevant environment agency.

Packaging

For the packaging regime the proposal is to:

  • Remove the requirement for Compliance Schemes and producers to have operational plans, and replace within the conditions for scheme approval.
  • Transfer responsibility for approving new compliance schemes from the governments (“appropriate authority”) to the environment agencies.
  •  Enable producers to delegate the signing of reporting and monitoring requirements to the most appropriate person on agreement with the relevant environment agency.

Calls for evidence

The consultation also calls for evidence to assess the case for changing the recovery and recycling rates of plastic waste packaging. Further, to explore the opportunities for increasing links between the producer responsibility regime for packaging and local authorities collection of packaging waste for recycling.

Responding to the consultation and further information

You can respond to the consultation up until the 22nd May 2015. Full details of how to respond are contained in the consultation document which can be viewed online in full:

GOV.UK: Consultation on changes to the Producer Responsibility regimes for batteries and packaging  and draft Regulations

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