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March 2023

10 min read

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) - the important data issues

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – the important data issues

Defra continues to hold Business Readiness workshops to inform producers and compliance schemes about progress in the government’s plans to implement packaging EPR. There is still much detail to be confirmed and Defra’s response to questions remains slow. In this month’s Compliance at a Glance, we explain some key questions regarding data compilation and ask you to notify us about points that you are seeking further guidance on.

Key data questions

The data that producers are required to report under EPR must be “as accurate as reasonably possible”. Whilst this includes categorising packaging correctly by packaging material, activity and packaging layer, perhaps the most important information that businesses need to understand for each piece of packaging they supply is:

  • Are they responsible for reporting that packaging? and
  • If so, is it household or non-household packaging?

Understanding the answer to these questions for all packaging supplied is of critical importance to businesses since it determines their financing obligations. The following principles apply:

  • If you are not responsible for reporting an item of packaging, you do not incur any financing obligation;
  • If an item of packaging is non-household, you have recycling obligations only (to fund the purchase of PRNs); if it is household, you have recycling obligations (PRNs) and must also pay your share of Local Authority Waste Management Costs.

Once you know the answer to these questions, you need to determine which packaging type to report your data under – is it primary, secondary, transit, tertiary or shipment packaging and are you reporting it as a brand-owner, importer, service provider, packer/filler or online market place?

Defra has produced guidance on what is household and non-household packaging and has held a seminar on this. Whilst there are differing views on their chosen methodology, which is that primary and shipment packaging is always household unless it is supplied to the direct business end-user, their requirements are clear.

With respect to responsibility for reporting packaging, it is evident there are many questions that remain unanswered. For instance, we do not yet have all the information required in relation to the impact of incoterms and activities undertaken on differing layers of packaging between its manufacture, packing, or import and its journey to the final consumer.

We will continue to update you as further information becomes available, including holding another ROOM where we consider this will be of benefit.

We need your help!

Whilst we are waiting for Defra to respond to questions that we have asked on your behalf, we wish to ensure we have a full understanding of the complexities around the “who is responsible for packaging” question. This will enable us to request further clarification from Defra on points that you consider are unclear, and confirm the information you will need to compile your first packaging EPR data return this summer (covering the six months to 30th June 2023). We intend to prepare a paper covering as many potential scenarios as possible with respect to the point of responsibility, and send this to Defra requesting further clarification where necessary. We will anonymise any information you provide before including this in the paper.

We are looking for examples of where you consider responsibility to report packaging is unclear. We are particularly interested in examples relating to conversion of unbranded packaging to branded packaging and vice versa, dual branded packaging scenarios and different import arrangements used to supply brand-owners, including where they do or do not stipulate packaging specifications.

If you supply any packaging and are unsure if you are responsible for its EPR reporting and financing, please send the details to Vikki Law vlaw@repic.co.uk details by Wednesday 8th March 2023.

Waste Crime Consultation – Supplementary Government response – exemption reform

The long awaited Government response to reform of the Waste Exemption system has been published here. If you store or reuse WEEE under a registered waste exemption, or are a producer or collection point operating under a Non-Waste Framework Directive exemption, then you may be affected by the changes which will take effect within a specified transitional period once the Environmental Permitting Regulations have been amended.

If we collect your producer or retailer returned WEEE, Laura or Dan from our WEEE Services Team will be in touch in the coming weeks to ensure you understand the impact of the changes and can remain compliant.

Exemption New conditions
All registerable exemptions
  • Record requirements introduced to evidence compliance with exemption conditions;
S2 (storage of waste in a secure place)
  • Can only be used for storage of waste recovered elsewhere – waste stored under S2 cannot be reused under a T11 at the same site;
  • Maximum annual input: 500t
  • Maximum storage capacity – 40m3
  • Maximum residence time: 6 months
  • Storage requirements – inside or under waterproof covering on an impermeable surface with sealed drainage
  • Additional requirements for Display and reuse
  • Cannot be used for storage of batteries
S1 (storage of waste in a secure container)
  • Can continue to be used for batteries; under the following conditions:
    o Maximum storage capacity: 5m3
    o Sited on impermeable surface and sealed drainage
    o Container must be: lidded or stored inside, designed to prevent damage to batteries, stored away from direct sunlight
    o Separate storage of batteries of different chemistries required
NWFD 3 and 4 (storage at a place controlled by the producer or at a collection point)
  • Increased storage capacity of 100m3

 

Please contact lcrehan@repic.co.uk or dhallworth@repic.co.uk if you need further details of the changes and the implementation timescales.

Battery Data submissions

2022 Automotive and Industrial battery reporting

A reminder that those REPIC battery scheme members that place Automotive and/or Industrial batteries on the market should provide us with details of the tonnes placed on the market and waste batteries collected in 2022, by 21st March 2023. Please use the template we have provided.

New battery chemistry reporting

You will recall we previously asked battery scheme members to comment on voluntary expanded battery chemistry reporting being proposed by Defra and the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency has now confirmed the information they would like to receive and we will be issuing a new template for use with Q1 2023 reporting. This will remain voluntary until the Batteries Regulations are amended, although both the Environment Agency and Defra would appreciate receipt of the additional information where it is available because it will assist in developing future battery policy. The template will be accompanied by guidance notes, and we will hold a short ROOM to explain this.

Please contact Jack (jstudholme@repic.co.uk) if you need further details about Automotive and Industrial Battery reporting or the new battery reporting template.

2023 WEEE collection targets consultation

Defra has published its paper setting out the proposed 2023 WEEE collection targets and is seeking comments on these by Tuesday 7th March. Alongside UK market share data, which is published in March, these targets will be used to calculate the amount of WEEE your company is required to finance in 2023. We will provide a copy of the paper and a summary of the draft targets in a separate email and encourage you to consider responding to Defra where you are able to provide any supporting evidence.

Contact janetteollerhead@repic.co.uk if you have any queries.

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