Our role in industry
Representing your interests
"With dedicated lobbying, proactive support and industry-focused expertise, we work hard to ensure Ecosurety’s compliance schemes deliver much more than just value for money to our members.
Building upon our expertise and well-established track record of representing our members’ interests within the Producer Responsibility debate, we pride ourselves on providing a stronger collective voice and strategic competitive advantage."
Mark Sayers, Principal consultant
Current debates and consultations
Update to the January 2016 consultation on the consolidation of regulations.
Earlier in 2016 we conducted a member review of the simplification of the packaging regulations following a DEFRA consultation on amending the regulations.
Although no material changes were proposed, the focus was upon the language used. Views were consolidated and presented back to government, supporting their pragmatic approach to the wording within the Regulations. See our original news story here.
In December 2016 the government published a summary of responses. Ecosurety was among the eight respondents to the consolation which is coming to the final stages of review, however an expert panel was unable to come to a conclusion to align the changes with the January 2017 packaging consultation on recycling targets. As a result, the consolidation exercise has been postponed, and will be reviewed later in 2017 to decide if any further action is needed.
The packaging target consultation remains open until 6 January 2017 (see our news story here), and again Ecosurety has drawn upon member and recycling partner views to submit our response. Details will be published shortly after the consultation closes.
Defra consultation on recycling targets to 2020
Defra has launched a new consultation running to 6 January 2017 on the recycling targets of paper, aluminium, steel, wood, recovery and total recycling to 2020. There are three proposals that stakeholders can comment on, more information can be found in our news story here.
Obligated packaging producers can sign up for our free webinar on the 15 December where we will explore the proposals and undertake a live poll that will help to inform our official response to Defra. We are also running a free webinar for reprocessors on the 15 December to explore the impacts to industry and again we will undertake a live poll to help inform our feedback. Please make sure you have your say, we are really interested to obtain the full range of views from industry.
On the 27 September we launched Circularety - a giant leap towards increasing transparency and control of PRN investment, make sure you register on the site to find out more! Simply visit www.circularety.com.
ESA industry workshop
Ecosurety also contributed to The Environmental Services Association industry workshop on the 17 November to feedback on the recent paper ‘A discussion of the UK PRN PERN system for packaging waste and possible alternatives’.
Along with our commercial manager Robbie Staniforth, I met up with other industry experts to share our views and feedback on the proposals. We recognised through conversations with other industry representatives that Circularety addressed a number of the issues raised.
However, the group discussions focused on positives and negatives of the options proposed in the paper for longer term regulatory change. Consensus for significant change was limited, and the options furthest from the current setup gained minimal support during group discussions. Read more here in our news story.
There was also much debate around the PRN system at the recent RWM 2016 event in Birmingham where this theme continued with a number of speakers from across the waste industry.
Producer Balancing System
The WEEE system has seen a significant period of change in the last 18 months, with step changes in recycling targets, mid year revised targets, Dual Use and the Compliance Fee. But now we see signs of the system starting to settle.
There are two elements that have been developed with industry that have bought a more open market and more competitiveness to producers. We already have the Compliance Fee (an alternative means of compliance besides collecting waste) which catches the under collection/lack of availability of WEEE, but now we have a system to cap the top, via a system called Producer Balancing System (PBS).
Ecosurety have been very active in the development of this new tool through our involvement with the WEEE Scheme forum. The system deals with the situation where a Local Authority no longer has a collection arrangement of WEEE with a scheme, but has extra WEEE that needs to be cleared from site. By using the requirement under Regulation 34, the Local Authority can demand a scheme clears the site regardless of its own need for WEEE.
Ecosurety supported the PBS setup to spread the cost and tonnage of evidence derived from the treatment, across PBS schemes thereby sharing (and reducing) potential costs of those who have joined. This avoids unexpected spikes in costs of WEEE collections for members of schemes who have not joined the PBS, where they have effectively chosen to take a gamble of not incurring costs for clearing the entire LA sites alone. When launched in August 2016, there were 22 schemes (from a total of 37 across the UK) who are covered by the membership and contribute to the PBS.
Batteries Stakeholder Group
The first battery stakeholder group meeting of the year focussed on interesting discussion on implementation of the new 5kg portable battery threshold and the impact towards UK reaching the 2016 EU target of 45%. With 2015 narrowly escaping a failure to hit 40% due to small producers not contributing towards recycling targets, we tabled some novel case history examples to demonstrate that the margin created by small producers could be found elsewhere in the recycling system. Read more in our news update here.
A recent meeting with stakeholders was the first since the Circular Economy package was released, which meant the preceding six months had seen considerable progress in Brussels on the CE Package top half (action plan) and bottom half (amendments to Directives). We expect a political agreement conclusion in late June 2016, allowing for representatives to work towards implementing measures in the run up to 2020.
With the CE package making important references to extended producer responsibility, market transparency, product design, producers carrying costs all the way from door-step to end of life - along with the draft Directives in waste, WEEE, batteries and packaging - there will be lots more to come within the following 18 months.
BEIS industry workshop - mapping the path to a 2050 circular economy
At the end of October our commercial manager Robbie attended a workshop at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The objective was to provide input for government strategies, focusing on the most energy intensive industries.
With representatives from industry, academia, government and environmental organisations, the workshop provided thought provoking discussions and valuable insights into the future of the circular economy, and the part that producer responsibility will play. Find our more in Robbie's blog here.
Lobbying, consultations and working groups
Representing our member interests goes far beyond simply speaking on their behalf. Naturally we actively seek member feedback and opinion on proposed changes to legislation before submitting our official response.
We are also strategically positioned to participate in, and advise our members on, the latest developments and debates that could impact the producer responsibility regulations for packaging, WEEE and batteries, through our involvement with the following key activities:
We play a proactive role in all Government and Environment Agency consultations and also sit on a number of appointed working groups to ensure that the interests of all our members are well represented - whether they are a leading global brand or a small producer who just falls within the obligation thresholds.
A longstanding member of the Industry Council for Electronic Recycling, Ecosurety actively participates in constructive debate between government, regulators, recyclers, producers and Producer Compliance Schemes.
As a founder member of the WEEE Scheme Forum, Ecosurety is part of a working group which comprises the majority of Producer Compliance Schemes operating under the WEEE Regulations.
Ecosurety is represented on the Defra-appointed Batteries Stakeholder Group, addressing key issues under the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009.
In addition we take part in ad-hoc working group meetings appointed by the above bodies with our particular expertise recognised in a number of specialist areas.
Stay up to date
Members of our compliance schemes are naturally consulted regarding any significant proposed changes that could impact their obligations, before any official response is submitted by us.
Changes and amendments that do not require member feedback are also communicated directly by our relationship team - so as a member of Ecosurety you can rest assured you will never miss a thing.
You can keep abreast of all our news, industry updates and Ecosurety developments by checking our latest news page, and don't forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter to ensure the best bits are sent directly to your inbox - simply use the form on the right hand side of this page.