Companies Share Concern Over Lack of EPR Preparedness

The latest extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations are still on track to be delivered in 2024, yet many in the industry feel very unprepared.

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The vast majority of UK businesses view their packaging data collection capability as a “work in progress,” according to a new survey by Ecoveritas.

“Businesses need a modern and flexible range of partners who can support them on the journey and advise them as they go through it. Needs can change over time, but those core processes of bringing things together to make better decisions will always be important,” says chief strategy officer Andrew McCaffery. “Many businesses face big data challenges when understanding their compliance obligations for a geographic region. While some countries request no or limited data and financial contributions relating to EPR, others often require detailed data submissions. This means if you don’t have the necessary data, or it is not precise enough, there could be large cost implications at stake.

The latest extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulations are still on track to be delivered in 2024.

“SMEs, in particular, who are getting captured by the regulations will struggle to rise to the challenge more than large companies with the resources to engage. Individual obligated companies’ compliance costs could increase between 6- 20 times depending on the final design of the new system,” adds McCaffery.

From Ecoveritas:

  • 86% of respondents have yet to establish their data collection processes fully, despite the strengthening of a statutory instrument, titled Packaging Waste (Data Reporting) (England) Regulations 2023, which mandates obligated producers in England to collect and report data on the amount and type of packaging placed on the market from this month.
  • 57.1% of respondents, or three in every five businesses surveyed, do not currently collect data on packaging waste, let alone report on it.
  • 85.7% of respondents are concerned about the financial implications for their businesses.
  • 42.9% of respondents rated themselves as unprepared but aware of the changes, regarding their general preparedness for the upcoming reforms, whereas 14.3% of those responding admitted to being unprepared.
  • 85.7% of businesses rated the government’s communication quality around the legislative changes to packaging regulations between 1-2, on a sliding scale of 1-10, where one is poor and 10 excellent. 100% rated it lower than four.
  • Regarding preparations for 2024, over half of the businesses surveyed have yet to make plans, with the remainder internally resourced; 14.3% of which will rely on external software/systems.