Waste management company Suez UK has called for an extension of producer responsibility to cover a wider range of goods.
It has proposed a 10-point plan to guide the design of schemes under which “a fair and equitable producer responsibility regime could be most effectively implemented”.
Suez has issued a policy paper Un-packaging Extended Producer Responsibility, based on more than 25 workshops it conducted with organisations that included the UK and devolved governments, local authorities, Coca-Cola, Marks & Spencer, Iceland and Incpen.
It said that producers of packaging, batteries, vehicles and electrical items were obligated to demonstrate recycling and recovery rates, but this approach should be ”extended to a much wider range of goods”.
Producers should contribute significantly more to the costs of collection, recycling and disposal, Suez said, predicting that this would “spark a revolution in the way we view and treat waste”.
It proposed that producers should pay a deposit covering the full costs associated with managing their end-of-life products: this would mean that those with more sustainable products would pay less than those with a greater environmental impact.
Technical development director Stuart Hayward-Higham (pictured) said: “Designing an extended producer responsibility scheme which is efficient in both cost and delivery, and which therefore minimises passed-on costs to consumers, is essential.
“We also believe that consumers should be given simple, on-product information so they can make informed choices about the sustainability of the things they purchase.”
Suez’s 10 principles for producer responsibility:
- More sustainable product design
- Enhanced brand equity for good performers
- A fair and level playing field for all producers (including internet and global sellers)
- Better informed consumers
- A competitive marketplace
- Innovation in materials, products and recycling systems
- Simplicity for all participants
- System delivered at minimal cost to the consumer
- Deterrence of fraud and crime
- Meaningful rewards or penalties based on performance