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The Light Touch Packaging Regulations consultation – have your say

The new Packaging Waste Regulations 2016 are coming soon - this will not only include an update to the plastic and glass targets, but also to the wording in an effort to improve clarity.

 The Environment Agency has released a brief consultation on the Packaging Regulations seeking feedback on how well the Regulations are written, the language used and how easily they are to understand. As you may have experienced, most regulations are written in ‘legal English’ in order to stand up in a court of law and to cover all possible scenario variations and industry technicalities, leading to somewhat complex and confusing documents! 

A marked improvement in language 

Every day we help make the Regulations understandable to our members through our expert compliance specialist teams who are available to talk through grey areas; which is a common problem. But are things about to change? The first draft of the 2016 Packaging Regulations has already been released by Defra and is set to be signed off in the autumn (subject to minor alterations following the consultation). They already show a marked improvement in language used and even include worked examples for some of the calculations that have long confused many producers. 

What else is changing? 

Along with the alterations to wording and requirements to make them easier to interpret, there are three other changes of substance that we’ve chosen to highlight that will have the biggest impact on producers: 

  1. Separate reference to England, Wales and Scotland through devolved powers within agencies
  2. Revised recycling targets for glass and plastic from 2016 onwards
  3. Delegated signatories - authorised persons (e.g. directors and company secretary) can nominate another individual to sign off the annual returns 

Have your say! 

We are running our own mini-consultation to feed in directly to Defra. Our official response will consolidate members’ feedback into an anonymous aggregated result. We want to give our stakeholders an opportunity to feedback on:- 

  • effectiveness
  • structure
  • terminology
  • coherence and flow
  • use of narrative
  • avoidance of acronyms
  • conciseness

So, here is your opportunity to constructively comment against each of these measures. Our members can contribute directly into our response to government so they can share their own views, experiences and challenges around how the regulations are written.

Our quick and simple survey will allow you to score, as well as comment, against topics that are of most concern to you. 

You can access the first draft of the new regulations published by Defra here

Responses must be completed by 5.00 pm on Friday 6 May to be consolidated into our scheme response. If you have any other burning issues to share, or are not a member and wish to comment, you can do so via email to packaging@ecosurety.com. We look forward to hearing from you all!

If you would like to discuss your compliance needs please contact our team of specialists on 0845 094 2228.

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Robbie Staniforth

Innovation and policy director

Robbie is innovation and policy director at Ecosurety. Having spent years building an intimate understanding of the industry’s policies and politics, he uses this knowledge to help shape new legislation and oversees Ecosurety’s growing portfolio of cross-industry innovation projects including Podback and the Flexible Plastic Fund. He has worked closely with Defra during the most recent packaging consultations, outlining the impacts and required transitional arrangements of the UK’s new EPR system and is a member of the government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP). He is also a spokesperson for the company and regularly uses his influence to communicate the importance of environmental responsibility to external stakeholders.


Written by Robbie Staniforth Published 13/04/2016 Topics Compliance

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