Compliance scheme Ecosurety has launched its own vision of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme after rejecting the Government’s proposals set out in the resources and waste strategy.
Defra has been carrying out cross-industry talks on how to reform EPR. Ecosurety felt that the four alternatives put forward did not offer any significant improvement but did place more financial obligation on to UK producers.
Ecosurety has now developed its own Centralised Competition EPR governance model, which it feels combines the best from the four options. It aims to retain an element of competition, protect local authorities from packaging collection costs and centralise the fee modulations to all producer packaging.
Ecosurety head of policy Robbie Staniforth (pictured) said: “First and foremost, businesses who are going to be affected by the changes to EPR governance need to take the time to engage and respond.
“We would encourage those who remain unconvinced by the four options outlined to consider the Centralised Competition model as a possible alternative. If on-board with its principles, they can reference it in the notes section of Question 57 in their consultation response.”
He added: “Two months of cross-industry discussions have revealed that, though commendable in ambition, none of Defra’s four models for future EPR governance offer the right blend of characteristics.
“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 the needs of the industry with producers and consumers.”
A new EPR system is due to be implemented in 2023.
Staniforth added: “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 in the past few years, we believe our model can deliver an EPR system which is successful in real-time, not just in concept.”
The Centralised Competition model claims to:
- Recognise the difference between public sector funding – for consistent, high-quality waste collections – and commercial investment funding which is required to improve UK recycling capacity
- Retain an element of competition to ensure cost efficiency and maintain a good choice of partners for producers
- Centralise local authority funding to ensure none is left to cover the cost of packaging collections alone
- Centralise fee modulation criteria to ensure that all producers’ packaging is treated consistently across the system
- Allow 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