Ecosurety has revealed an alternative model for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) governance, currently under consultation by Defra.
Called the Centralised Competition model, the alternative system revealed by Ecosurety offers an ambitious yet achievable set of parameters under which the UK’s EPR system would be governed following implementation in 2023.
Last year, following an investigation by the National Audit Office that declared the UK’s existing EPR system as unfit for purpose, the Government launched its ambitious Resources & Waste Strategy in December. This strategy set out plans to comprehensively reform the UK’s approach to managing waste materials and move the UK towards a more circular economy. The launch of a series of detailed consultations in February 2019 followed, enabling input from industry on the best approach to implement a number of key reforms.
Shaping the future of EPR
In the Consultation on reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system is a question that specifically concerns the future governance of the packaging compliance system. Defra has provided four well-considered models for future EPR governance in the consultation, however Ecosurety believe that none offer a significant improvement on the way current system operates – despite each model placing a significant increase in financial obligations on UK producers.
Due to this reason, Ecosurety has developed an alternative EPR model that offers an improvement on funding issues, whilst tackling competitive unfairness and a lack of transparency. The result is the Centralised Competition model. It is a proposal that serves the system principles outlined by Defra and also delivers the ambitious outcomes the government and country desire.
Download the Centralised Competition report
Available as a four page downloadable report that respondents to the consultation can reference, the Centralised Competition model:
- Recognises the difference between public sector funding - for consistent, high quality waste collections - and commercial investment funding which is required to improve UK recycling capacity
- Retains an element of competition to ensure cost efficiency and maintain a good choice of partners for producers
- Centralises Local Authority funding to ensure no LA’s are left to cover the cost of packaging collections alone
- Centralises fee modulation criteria to ensure that all producers’ packaging is treated consistently across the system
- Allows devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to understand the type and quantity of packaging flowing through their economies, as well as providing a communications fund for them to engage with citizens
A realistic and equitable framework
“Two months of cross-industry discussions have revealed though commendable in ambition, none of Defra’s four models for future EPR governance offer the right blend of characteristics." commented Robbie Staniforth, Head of Policy at Ecosurety. "The objective to our Centralised Competition model is to provide a realistic and equitable framework under which future EPR governance can operate. It delivers on government ambitions, minimises risks for cross-industry stakeholders, and – critically – balances the needs of the industry with producers and consumers.”
Staniforth added that “Ecosurety has combined its knowledge of the waste and recycling sector with years of experience in market reform. Based on the positive outcomes from a number of projects we’ve delivered over the last few years, we believe our Centralised Competition model can deliver an EPR system which is successful in real-time, not just in concept.“
Have your say
The Government’s consultation on reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system is open to businesses, trade bodies, local authorities, waste management companies and recycling companies. The deadline for submissions is Monday 13th May. The question dedicated to the future governance of the UK’s EPR system is in Part C – question 7, page 71. You can view the consultation document here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/consultation-on-reforming-the-uk-packaging-produce/
If you have any questions about the consultation or the Ecosurety Centralised Competition model, please contact our team.
Marketing projects specialist
Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.