Skip to main content

Extended producer responsibility: New data recording and reporting rules

The way that UK businesses carry out their recycling responsibilities is changing. From 1 January 2023, all businesses that handle and supply packaging must comply with the new extended producer responsibility (EPR) data recording and reporting requirements. These recording and reporting requirements are designed to be in place before the full EPR implementation which starts in January 2024. See our previous article Government confirms delay to EPR scheme roll out.

We’re still waiting for the legislation that lays out the data recording and reporting requirements. However, in the meantime, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Environment Agency have published guidance on how businesses should prepare for the new EPR for packaging. You can read the guidance here.

The guidance sets out:

  • which businesses are caught and will therefore need to take steps to ensure they collect the correct packaging data from 1 January 2023
  • what is required of small and large organisations under the new EPR, as well as of parent companies, groups or subsidiaries
  • what information should be included when collecting and submitting packaging data.

Who needs to take action?

The regulations will apply to all UK organisations that handle and supply packaging. Businesses within the Food and Drink sector will be particularly affected. You must take action to comply if all the following apply:

  • you’re an individual business, subsidiary or group (but not a charity)
  • you have an annual turnover of £1 million or more (based on your most recent annual accounts)
  • you’re responsible for over 25 tonnes of packaging in a calendar year
  • you carry out any of the packaging activities listed (which includes packaging own-brand products, using a third party to package and sell to UK consumers, hiring or loaning out reusable packaging – the list is quite long so please see the guidance for full details).

What will you need to do?

Under the new regulations, you may need to:

  • collect and submit data on the packaging you handle and supply
  • pay a waste management fee
  • buy packaging waste recycling notes or packaging waste export recycling notes to meet your recycling obligations.

The steps you must take to comply with the regulations will depend on whether your business is classed as a small or large organisation. You will also be caught if you sell packaging goods to the end user. The data that you collect must be categorised into:

  • individual materials
  • whether it is used for a primary, secondary or transit purposes
  • whether it will become household or non-household waste
  • whether it is likely to end up in street bins.

How we can help

Even though we’re still waiting for the legislation, Defra appears keen for this to all start in January 2023. If you think your business will fit into the above categories for data gathering, you will need to start preparing for this complex data recording process. Our Regulatory and Compliance Team can help you navigate the new EPR for packaging rules. The team has a great deal of experience advising the Food and Drink sector on how to keep up to date with an evolving regulatory landscape.