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Wine and Spirit Trade Association warns businesses to fill out package recycling forms before end of May deadline

Environment | 12 April, 2024

Hundreds of UK companies, who qualify, are yet to complete Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) paperwork.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association is calling on businesses who have not collected and submitted packaging data, from the first half of 2023, to act swiftly or risk facing financial penalties.” 

UK businesses who produce or use packaging are required to enrol in the Government’s EPR scheme to improve recycling and reduce the amount of packaging waste.  

According to Defra out of nearly 6,000 businesses that have enrolled in the scheme, only some 2000 of them have registered their data. And around a further 1,000 producers are still expected to enrol in the Recycling Packaging Database (RPD).

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is warning that obligated businesses need to enrol and report their packaging data by 31 May 2024 to avoid being fined.  

The scope of obligated businesses has expanded from the 2007 regulations and includes any of the following – businesses which:  

  • supply packaged goods to the UK market under your own brand  
  • place goods into packaging  
  • import products in packaging  
  • own an online marketplace  
  • hire or loan out reusable packaging  
  • supply empty packaging  

Companies will need to act if their annual turnover is £1 million or more and were responsible for more than 25 tonnes of packaging in 2022.  

Smaller organisations, with a turnover between £1m to £2m will need to record their data, and begin reporting, annually, from 2025.   

You can either submit your own data or employ a Compliance Scheme to do this for you.

Miles Beale Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:  

Extended Producer Responsibility is intended to ensure that businesses that produce packaging are financially responsible for the cost of disposing of it. The aim of the scheme is to incentivise businesses to use less packaging and to make it more recyclable. 

We don’t want anyone in our industry to be caught out by failing to comply with their packaging obligations. It is important that everyone puts this firmly on their to do list for before the 31st May deadline to avoid being penalised.” 

EPR for packaging fees were originally planned to start in October 2024, but were deferred for a year, and will now start in October 2025.  

Defra had committed to release the cost of the fees by summer 2023, but these have yet to be announced. These fees will vary depending on the materials you report.   

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