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August 2023

8 min read

Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT)

HMRC Consultation: Chemical Recycling and Adoption of Mass Balance Approach

Plastic packaging components which contain a minimum 30% recycled content are not subject to PPT.
HMRC are consulting on the adoption of a mass balance approach to determine the amount of chemically recycled plastic in plastic packaging components.
Chemical recycling includes gasification and pyrolysis.

 

 

If a mass balance approach for chemical recycling is adopted, it will be acceptable to allocate the input of a chemically recycled feedstock to the output from a plastic production process. In very simple terms, if 10% of the process inputs are recycled feedstock, it will be acceptable to designate 10% of the process output as recycled plastic.

Responses can be submitted until 10th October 2023 at Plastic Packaging Tax – chemical recycling and adoption of a mass balance approach – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

We are still waiting for publication of the long-awaited consultation on the implementation of EPR for WEEE, which now seems likely to be delayed until the end of the summer.

The EU has recently published a call for evidence as they seek to evaluate the WEEE Directive. The evaluation will assess whether the Directive is still fit for purpose, explore possibilities to simplify the Directive, and determine whether a review is needed. The consultation runs until 22nd September and can be accessed here https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13420-Waste-from-electrical-and-electronic-equipment-evaluating-the-EU-rules/public-consultation_en. REPIC is participating in the review through its membership of the WEEE Forum, and the main European producer trade associations are also engaged.

 

We provide the latest update on the progress and developments in the government’s plans to implement packaging EPR, and any further clarification received to help you compile your first packaging EPR data return this summer.

 

Delay to implementation of producer payments for local authority household packaging waste collection costs

 

As we advised in REP-INF-0194 / 0195, Defra has announced that the payment of local authority household packaging waste collection costs under EPR has been delayed for a year. This is welcome news because to date it has not been possible to budget for the additional costs that will be incurred from 2024 due to the cost calculator promised by Defra not being published and important scope queries remaining unanswered, despite REPIC and many other organisations regularly pressing for this.

Defra advises that the time created by the delay in implementation is being used to ensure that EPR functions as intended and in particular they are taking the additional time to consider:

  • Design and functions of the Scheme Administrator, specifically involvement of the value chain and its governance. This is the body that will administer the payment system for local authority household packaging waste costs.
  • Design of the modulated fees that will be applied to each packaging material in the second year of implementation based on recyclability.
  • Alignment of the Regulations with the Circular Economy Action Plan

Producers will be still required to submit EPR data for 2023, however, this is a reporting only obligation; costs will not be incurred from the data submitted. The submission of this data is important as it will provide information on the tonnage of household packaging supplied collectively by producers, improving the calculation of producer EPR costs estimates for 2025. Defra has promised to advise on the timescale for providing the cost calculator, and the timing of invoices from 2025, over the coming months. We hope that timely provision of these, together with early information on modulated fees, will enable producers to understand the impact of EPR on their business and aid decisions on packaging material usage and design prior to modulated fees coming into force.

Reporting 2023 packaging data

Due to the payment of EPR costs being delayed by a year, the current Packaging Waste Regulations are to be amended to introduce recycling targets for 2024. This means that producers obligations to finance PRNs in 2024 will continue to be based on data submitted in the format that has been in place for many years. Defra has advised that proposals for the 2024 targets will be provided shortly.

2023 packaging data will therefore need to be reported under both the EPR and Packaging Waste Regulations. Whilst this is not ideal for businesses, the additional administration required is offset by the delay in the payment of EPR costs until 2025. Businesses will also be able to estimate the costs they will incur in 2025 relatively accurately since they will know the quantity of packaging for which they are likely to be responsible, whilst the cost estimate per tonne to be provided by Defra will be based on a known quantity of household packaging.

Defra Consultation on EPR Regulations

Defra is consulting on the draft Regulations that will implement EPR; The Producer Responsibility (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations 2024. This is not to revisit policy, but to ascertain the Regulations achieve the approach provided in the consultation outcome and that the responsibilities of all parties are clear and as intended. The consultation, which runs until 9th October 2023, is available here. REPIC will respond to the consultation and in due course we will provide a summary of key points that you may wish to consider responding to.

 

Electrical Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating (WUDS)

The Environment Agency has confirmed the EEE scope guidance on.GOV.UK is to be amended to remove household upholstered domestic seating from the scope of the WEEE Regulations. We expect this will include gaming and recliner chairs. We understand that producers that placed these in the market in 2022 will be able to resubmit their data. If this affects you please contact Janette – janetteollerhead@repic.co.uk.

Reporting EEE placed on the market guidance

The Environment Agency has published its update guidance on reporting EEE placed on the UK market. The underlying principles of the guidance remain unchanged however it now clarifies when sales data may be used as a basis for reporting. It also explains when you can deduct exported EEE from your reported data. We recommend that all REPIC members read the updated guidance as an aide memoire, which is available at Report the amount of EEE you place on the market – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). If you have any questions relating to the guidance, please contact Janette – janetteollerhead@repic.co.uk

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