‘Reckless and irresponsible’ to pause EPR, Ecoveritas claims

Packaging data specialist Ecoveritas claims rowing back on the planned introduction of extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging would be “reckless and irresponsible”.

The FDF claims implementing EPR would add another £60 to every household’s annual shopping bill (picture: Ecoveritas)

Several producer and retailer groups have suggested that the next government under the new prime minister should review EPR, due to come into force in 2024, against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis.

Karen Betts, CEO of the Food and Drink Federation, claimed implementing EPR would add another £60 to every household’s annual shopping bill (see letsrecycle.com story).

Though Defra told letsrecycle.com it “didn’t recognise these figures”, Ecoveritas claims the reforms could be “vulnerable” due to lobbying.

Andrew McCaffery, Ecoveritas’s EPR director, described Ms Betts’s comments as “a baffling and somewhat misguided intervention”.

“The costs will be nowhere near that significant at the household level and should actually be less than they are paying currently through their local tax,” he said.

“It is disheartening to see businesses again putting their bottom line ahead of the planet. The environment cannot afford for EPR to be delayed or watered down.”

Defra’s own estimates anticipate the introduction of EPR will increase average household expenditure by 78p per week or £41 annually.

‘Wrong’

Mr McCaffery said people could see “right through this latest attempt to row back on green initiatives” and accused parts of the food industry of using the cost-of-living crisis as “cover”.

Some parts of the food industry have, quite frankly, got this wrong

  • Andrew McCaffery, Ecoveritas’s EPR director

He said: “Some parts of the food industry have, quite frankly, got this wrong and should instead focus their efforts on getting the implementation of EPR correct.

“Otherwise, they risk a scenario of getting the worst of both worlds, where they shoulder the cost of inefficient local authority collections and highly volatile PRN prices.”

McCaffery said the government needed to optimise the implementation of EPR and “build the green revolution we all want to see” before the precise impact and true costs to business could be assessed. “Failure to act now is just storing up problems for future generations,” he said.

Data specialist

London-based Ecoveritas describes itself as a data specialist and says it provides a range of tools and expertise to brands and retailers, to “minimise the environmental impact and maximise the effectiveness of their packaging”.

The firm offers data collection and analysis services, as well as compliance, packaging consultancy and advice.

Subscribe for free

Subscribe to receive our newsletters and to leave comments.

The Blog Box

Other Publications from
The Environment Media Group

Back to top