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Suez rejects Defra's EPR scheme options

None of the extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes proposed in Defra’s consultation is suitable for use as they stand, waste company Suez has said.

It said a hybrid system would be better than any of the options given. This would include a deposit-based, Government-managed scheme, combined with registration, payment and control methods taken from existing proposals.

Defra consulted on a variety of schemes as part of its resources and waste strategy. These included an enhanced version of ‘business as usual’, a single not-for-profit organisation, separate not-for-profit organisations for household-like waste and non-household-like waste and a deposit-based, Government-managed scheme.

Suez’s report Unpackaging EPR Consultation Proposals assessed Defra’s options against 10 criteria the company has developed against which it thinks EPR schemes should be judged.

Report author Stuart Hayward-Higham, Suez’s technical development director, said: “We applaud Defra for the work it has done. But, having conducted our own comprehensive analysis in collaboration with many others, we do not believe any single model of those presented in the consultation documents delivers on all 10 of the principles of a world-class EPR system.

“As such, Suez favours a hybrid model, the construction of which we discuss in the report.”

Suez said it recognised that smaller producers might need the assistance of compliance schemes to help manage the administrative complexity of compliance.

It said targets and payments for local authorities should reflect the local conditions, and social and technical factors, to ensure costs are correctly apportioned and covered.

Robbie Staniforth, head of policy at packaging compliance scheme Ecosurety, said: “We see many similarities between Suez’s thinking and ours.

“We are pleased to see that they have also tried to blend some of Defra’s models together to get a better outcome. Our only reservation is Suez’s assessment, using its own criteria, of the deposit-based Government-managed scheme.”

Staniforth said Ecosurety feared this would be too close to the status quo, and lead to another version of the packaging market being formed that lacks focus on building UK infrastructure.

Ecosurety last week proposed its own EPR proposal called the Centralised competition EPR governance model.


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