Packaging producers will be expected by law to collect packaging EPR data from March 2023.
The news comes after the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published a Statutory Instrument (SI) detailing the process that businesses will need to follow, to submit data for the impending EPR reforms.
Obligated producers will still have the option to begin collecting their data from 1 January 2023, to get a head start on preparing for their data reporting requirements.
Defra’s move to publish the SI now gives the Environment Agency (EA) powers that it previously did not have to force businesses to collect data.
Hope on the horizon
After much delay around progressing the new EPR system, Defra’s publication of the SI may inspire fresh anticipation from local government and industry, of the government’s EPR response document.
SIs enable the provisions of an Act of Parliament to be actioned or changed, and in the current case, the SI explains that the Packaging Waste Regulations 2022 will come into force on 28 February 2023 and will extend to England and Wales but apply to England only.
Commenting on these developments, Ecosurety Innovation and Policy director, Robbie Staniforth, said: "To say this legislation has been laid at the 11th hour would be an understatement. However, it is pleasing to finally see more detail from the Government."
More guidance available
Defra have now published a new dedicated guidance page on the data requirements for packaging EPR, including detail on the four parts of data to be collected that include the packaging activity, packaging material and weight, packaging type and waste type.
Producers who are subject to the data collection obligations must provide records for each data collection period, and keep these records for a minimum period of seven years after the end of the data collection period.
Robbie Staniforth added: "We now have enough information to guide our members through the changes they may need to make to get ready for data reporting starting on 1st Jan 2023. Having drastically expanded our team this year, we are in an excellent position to cope with the inevitable questions that will follow the release of this legislation."