Packaging: Regulation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the amount of excessive and unnecessary packaging materials being used; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, published in January 2018, its commitment to reform the packaging producer responsibility system. Our Resources and Waste Strategy was published in December 2018 and contains details on how we will do this, including measures to incentivise packaging producers to make better, more sustainable decisions at the design stage and point of manufacture. Through replacing the current system with Extended Producer Responsibility we will require producers to fund the full net cost of managing the packaging they place on the market, once it becomes waste. These measures will provide a strong incentive to producers to reduce the amount of packaging they use and to make packaging that is more easily collected and recycled. The proposals are open to consultation until 13 May 2019 and can be found here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/consultation-on-reforming-the-uk-packaging-produce/.

The Government has also committed in the Resources and Waste Strategy to review the effectiveness of the Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2015 by the end of 2020. These regulations set out rules that producers of packaging must follow when designing packaging, including the requirement that packaging should be kept to a minimum volume and weight.

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