Government consultations on recycling collections and packaging

Government have launched a series of consultations to overhaul the waste system. Building on commitments made in the government's landmark Resources and Waste Strategy published in December, the consultations provide detail on plans to make packaging producers pay the full cost of dealing with their waste and to introduce a consistent set of materials collected across England from households for recycling, and bringing in a Deposit Return Scheme(DRS) for cans and bottles, subject to consultation. The changes will make up a key part of the government's upcoming Environment Bill, to be introduced early in the second session of Parliament.

The consultations run for 12 weeks to 13th May 2019. Please get involved and tell us what you think so we can make sure your views are heard.

Consultation on Consistency in Household and Business Recycling Collections in England

Defra are consulting on proposals for all waste collection authorities to:

  • collect the same core set of dry recyclable materials from households
  • have separate weekly food waste collections from households 

Other measures they're consulting on:

  • whether waste collection authorities should provide a free garden waste collection service for households with gardens

  • how to achieve greater separation of dry materials in collections, especially paper and glass to improve the quality of dry recyclables collected from households

  • whether statutory guidance on minimum service standards for waste and recycling services should be introduced

  • how to develop non-binding performance indicators to support local authorities to deliver high quality and quantity in recycling and waste management

  • how to support joint working between local authorities on waste; alternatives to weight-based targets; and having standardised bin colours for waste and recycling.

Defra are consulting on proposals to improve recycling from businesses and other organisations that produce municipal waste:

    • all affected businesses and organisations to segregate dry recyclable materials from residual waste so that these can be collected for recycling

    • all affected businesses and organisations to separate their food waste to be collected and recycled or composted

    • measures to reduce costs of waste collection for businesses and organisations

    • measures to improve the availability of data and information on business waste and


For ORG members the most relevant sections are the ones about food waste and garden waste collections. These are Proposal 4 (p28) to Proposal 7 (p31). We plan to circulate some initial thoughts to members for comment but welcome any thoughts at any time. Please contact Jeremy to discuss. 

Consultation on reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system
This is a joint consultation from Defra, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Northern Ireland. This consultation seeks views on measures to reduce the amount of unnecessary and difficult to recycle packaging and increase the amount of packaging that can and is recycled through reforms to the packaging producer responsibility regulations. It also proposes that the full net costs of managing packaging waste are placed on those businesses who use packaging and who are best placed to influence its design, consistent with the polluter pays principle and the concept of extended producer responsibility.

The proposals they are consulting on in this document are highlighted below:

  • The definition of full net cost recovery and approaches to recovering full net costs from producers

  1. Incentives to encourage producers to design and use packaging that can be recycled
  2. The businesses that would be obligated under a packaging extended producer responsibility system
  3. Producer funding is used to pay local authorities for the collection and management of household packaging waste and to support the collection for recycling of household-like packaging arising in the commercial waste
  4. Mandatory labelling on all packaging to indicate if it is recyclable or not
  5. New packaging waste recycling targets for 2025 and 2030, and interim targets for 2021 and 2022
  6. Alternative models for the organisation and governance of a future packaging extended producer responsibility system
  7. Measures to strengthen compliance monitoring and enforcement including for packaging waste that is exported for recycling.

Please send any comments on this to Emily

 Introducing a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

This consultation seeks views on proposals to introduce a DRS for drinks containers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, whilst recognising that any DRS should form part of a coherent system across the UK.

A DRS would see a deposit added to the price of drinks in in-scope drinks containers at the point of purchase, which would be redeemed when consumers return their empty drinks containers to designated return points. This consultation proposes that the materials included in a DRS could be PET and HDPE plastic bottles, steel and aluminium cans, and glass bottles. They are proposing that a broad range of drinks, including water, soft drinks, juices, alcohol, and milk-containing drinks, where they are sold in containers made of these materials, could be included in a DRS. 

They are considering two options in the consultation. The 'all-in' model, would not place any restrictions on the size of drinks containers in-scope of a DRS. This would target a large amount of drinks beverages placed on the market. The second option, known as the 'on-the-go' model, would restrict the drinks containers in-scope to those less than 750ml in size and sold in single format containers.

Posted: 20/02/19

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