30 March 2021 by Robyn White

INCPEN to work with value chain on waste reforms  

The chief executive of the packaging industry association, the Industry Council for Packaging and Environment (INCPEN), says the government’s waste reforms will “transform the relationship” between consumers, councils and producers. 

Paul Vanston added that Defra’s waste reforms were the first “wholesale opportunity in 25 years” to resolve “dozens of issues embedded in current systems”.

Paul Vanston

Paul Vanston is chief executive of INCPEN

He said the association would work with everyone in the packaging value chain to ensure citizens have confidence in the system.

Mr Vanston made the remarks as part of his reaction to the long-awaited consultations on extended producer responsibility (EPR) and the deposit return scheme (DRS) launched last week (see letsrecycle.com story). A consultation on consistency in collections is due imminently.

“INCPEN sees the trio of consultations, on EPR, consistency of recycling collections, and DRS, as the country’s first wholesale opportunity in 25 years to resolve dozens of issues that are embedded in current systems. The easy part is highlighting all those issues,” he said.

Mr Vanston added: “Every sector can do that, and the issues exist on all sides. Every sector is far from perfect. The harder part is being willing to put down the fingers of blame and, instead, work hard across the whole supply chain to deliver world-class recycling performance in all four UK nations that citizens deserve and pay for.”


Mr Vanston said EPR “fundamentally changes” the dynamics of relationships between citizens, producers and councils.

“We’ll work collaboratively and genuinely with everyone in the packaging value chain whom are willing, positive-minded, and team players”

Paul Vanston, chief executive, INCPEN

He said citizens needed to have “confidence” that everyone involved in recycling, including councils, producers and waste companies, was working “brilliantly” together.

“That is INCPEN’s focus and we’ll work collaboratively and genuinely with everyone in the packaging value chain whom are willing, positive-minded, and team players. We’re pleased to count many council organisations as valued and equal partners in these national joint endeavours. Now is a great time to be part of the resources sector to shape what the next 25 years looks like,” he added.


The second consultations on EPR and DRS were published last week on 24 March.

A further consultation on consistency in recycling and waste collections within local authorities was also expected but has been delayed. The waste sector is however expecting it to be published soon.

The third consultation will contain proposals covering free green waste collections and mandatory food waste services, amongst others.


The Resources & Waste Strategy Revisited Conference is taking place online on 12 May 2021. This full day conference will explore responses to the consultations and aims to bring the industry together for networking and discussions on all three documents. Visit HERE for details.


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