Supermarkets: Packaging

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 11th January 2021.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with supermarkets on reducing their usage of non-recyclable packaging for foodstuffs.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are currently developing Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging. EPR for packaging will see producers paying for the waste management costs associated with the packaging that they place on the market. In addition to this, EPR for packaging will see those costs modulated (varied) to account for various criteria, including recyclability. This will provide an incentive to producers who use recyclable packaging, as they could be paying less than those who don't. We will be consulting in early 2021 on our proposals for introducing EPR for packaging.

In developing these proposals and in preparation for the upcoming consultation, engagement with stakeholders, including supermarkets, has been a priority. As part of this focus on engagement, a joint project was recently launched to develop a key element of the new EPR for packaging system. This project is developing an approach to the modulation of producer fees and will run until July 2021. It is being led jointly between the Government and the Devolved Administrations, the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (INCPEN), the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), and the British Retail Consortium (BRC). At all stages of the project, stakeholder engagement will be central to our approach.

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