FDF responds to Public Accounts Committee report on DEFRA packaging reforms

01 December 2023

A Parliamentary committee has questioned the clarity and delays to Defra's collection and packaging reforms, which include Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Deposit Returns Scheme (DRS) and Simpler Recycling). 

The report warns that without clarification, a resulting lack of investment will stop the Government reaching its ambitions for reducing the environmental and economic costs of waste. 

The report also finds that Defra needs to provide similar clarity to support its longer-term waste policies. It has yet to set out how the waste system as a whole needs to change, including the waste infrastructure capacity it expects will be needed for England to meet its ambitions. Without the certainty of a long-term infrastructure plan, private sector companies lack the confidence to invest in new recycling facilities, compounding the issue of plastic waste

Commenting on the report Jim Bligh, Director of Corporate Affairs and Packaging said: “Over the last two years, we’ve raised our concerns directly that this proposed scheme doesn’t replicate best practice when compared globally and is more closely aligned to tax raising schemes in countries like Russia and Hungary.

“Defra must take on board the recommendations of the committee to work closely with all stakeholders to design a world leading scheme that delivers a true circular economy, which means that recycled food packaging is used again for the same purpose and not sent to landfill or incinerated.”

Members can find the full report here.