Packaging EPR: Latest Guidance | Aylesbury Box Company
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) comes into play from January 2023, placing greater recycling responsibility on the packaging industry.
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Packaging EPR: Latest Guidance


Packaging EPR: Latest Guidance

Every UK packaging company is aware of the forthcoming changes to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). This comes into play from January 2023, placing greater recycling responsibility on the packaging industry. The aim is to encourage sustainable packaging design and practices.

EPR also applies to companies packaging own brand goods to sell in the UK, including those using a third-party packing company. If you are unsure whether EPR applies to your business and what it entails, this article will shed some light.

What Percentage of UK Packaging is Recycled?

A growing number of producers are changing their product packaging and packaging materials in a bid to reduce waste. In recent weeks, leading brands including Pritt Stick and Nivea have announced changes that reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.

These moves are driven by a desire to better protect the environment, changing consumer priorities and the financial incentive of avoiding or reducing plastic tax and EPR fees.

Despite positive actions, provisional data on recycling rates in 2021 reveal that 63.2% of packaging materials are currently being recycled. This is lower than the 69.1% recorded in 2020 and 67.2% in 2019 which means we still have a way to go before achieving a circular economy.

The recycling rates for paper and cardboard packaging are higher than the average at 70.6%. This is partly because consumers know that paper-based packaging is recyclable and dispose of it where it can be recovered.

What does EPR Involve?

To encourage more companies to focus attention on the entire lifecycle of packaging, EPR will require all qualifying businesses to collate and report data to DEFRA from January 2023. The data has to be categorised into packaging materials such as paper & cardboard, aluminium and glass. There is also a requirement to break this down into primary, secondary (shipping) and transit packaging.

All qualifying businesses have to register for EPR before the end of 2022 and the data collected in 2023 will inform a fee that has to be paid to environmental regulators. The latest Government guidance on EPR was published on 7 June 2022. It will help you to understand whether your business is obligated to register and report.

The Benefits of Sustainability

As a sustainable packaging manufacturer, we have been collecting and monitoring data for several years. We have seen the positive impact of our actions to minimise waste across all areas of our business. The data and evidence of change is one factor that helped us to gain FSC® certification in 2021.

Our focus on minimising waste has paid off in many other ways. A growing number of customers want to evidence supply chain sustainability. Providing them with our green credentials has helped us to gain and retain their business.

We have found that a desire for recycled and recyclable packaging solutions has been of particular importance to start-up enterprises. Their company values are often underpinned by environmental responsibility. We hope that we can continue as the packaging supplier to these fledgling businesses as they scale up.

Becoming increasingly sustainable has also reduced the costs of waste management and will now help us to keep EPR fees down.

All of these factors ensure we can remain a competitive packaging company.

If you are keen to evidence supply chain sustainability and are looking for a UK based, FSC® certified packaging company, get in touch on 01296 436888 or Our friendly team are happy to discuss your requirements and advise on packaging design and print finishes. We can supply quotes and samples to help you make informed decisions about product packaging, e-commerce boxes and industrial shipping cartons.

Why Take Action on EPR?

Tackling climate change is everyone’s responsibility and the desire to minimise EPR fees will be a driver of change. The guidance makes it clear that failure to register, along with late data reporting will result in penalties. No company can afford to pay these avoidable costs, so getting prepared now for January 2023 reporting makes good business sense.

Remember; taking action to incorporate packaging ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ in design and manufacture can bring benefits to your business, as well as the global environment.

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