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Welcome to The GBN January Briefing

Welcome to The GBN January Briefing

The Christmas and New Year holidays are now a distant memory, but while we were all having a few days off wondering how a single turkey could make so many meals, the Government was busy launching the Resource and Waste strategy and a couple of other little nuggets.

Here's our brief outline of key changes ahead in the exciting world of packaging related environmental legislation!


The main proposals you need to know about are:

  • The biggest implication for most businesses in the Resource and Waste Strategy is that Producers will have to pay the full cost of collection and sorting domestic waste including packaging, electricals, food waste etc. (where the current PRN system only subsidises the cost of recycling waste packaging) in 2023.
    • Estimates for cost are between five and ten times the cost of compliance in 2017/18.
    • The Government intends to include a ‘modulated fee’ that will be dependent upon how easy it is to reuse, repair or recycle products (including packaging).
  • A proposed new tax on all plastic packaging used that does not contain at least 30% recycled content by 2022.
  • A deposit return system is expected by 2023 for single use plastic bottles, (and perhaps coffee cups).

Now read on for more details..

New Resource and Waste Strategy

In the run up to Christmas, Michael Gove launched a new Resource and Waste Strategy with details of the Government’s aspirations for the environment up to 2030 and some proposals that look as far away as 2050.

There are 8 sections:

  1. Sustainable production
  2. Helping consumers to take more action
  3. Recovering resources and managing waste
  4. Tackling waste crime
  5. Cutting down on food waste
  6. Global Britain
  7. Research and innovation
  8. Measuring progress

The main proposals include:

  • Compulsory food waste collection
  • Annual reporting of food surplus and waste by food businesses
  • Extended producer responsibility to apply full cost recovery to producers with new waste types added
  • Reforming existing duty of care regulation including mandatory use of digital transfer and export documentation

Click here to see the announcement.

New Environment Bill

In addition to the Waste and Resource Strategy, Michael Gove also launched draft clauses for the first Environment Bill for 20 years. This will be a key step to show the Government’s commitment to maintain environmental protection as we leave the EU.

The draft clauses include:

Environmental Principals

These will be based on ‘polluter pays’ and to include the public on decision making – Let’s hope it is more effective than the current legislation governing planning permission for fracking!

Office for Environmental Protection

They plan to create an office to uphold this legislation to replace the oversight of the European Commission.

25 Year Environmental Plan

The plan reads like a panacea to manage waste, reverse pollution and implement greener technologies. It also talks about a legal requirement to have a plan to improve the environment and report annually. The first plan was published in January 2018.

Click here to see the announcement.

Carrier Bag Charges

Between Christmas and the new year, the government launched a consultation on extending the 5p carrier bag charge to all businesses, increasing it to 10p and requiring producers to report the volume of carrier bags placed on the market.

Full deta">

Click here for a link to give your feedback on line.

Future Consultations:

In January we are expecting consultations on the following:

  • Packaging waste reform - regulations due in 2021 and in force 2023
  • Deposit Return System – to be rolled out in 2023
  • Implementation of a minimum range of household waste to be collected for recycling
  • Minimum recycled content on plastic packaging to be 30% by 2022
  • And I am sure there was a whisper abut imposing a deposit for single use paper cups that may just have been the Government testing public opinion.
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