EPR – Extended Producer Responsibility
Overview of EPR
- EPR aims to cover the cost of collection, sorting and recycling of packaging and incentivise producers through to ensure the products placed on the market are recyclable.
- Producers who place packaging on the market will pay for 100% of the EPR charge.
- Businesses – rather than consumers – are responsible for the cost of dealing with packaging when it becomes waste, and revenue raised will be invested in better collections for households.
- Aim to increase plastic packaging recycling rates to 62%
- Modulated fees based on recyclability will be introduced from 2025, rather than 2024.
- Mandatory kerbside film and plastic collections will be in place by 2027
- Packaging will need to be marked with a consistent logo to show if it can or cannot be recycled
- EPR is designed to replace PRN’s (The cost of the PRN system is a shared obligation between raw material companies, convertors, packer fillers and sellers)
What is EPR and how will it affect me?
The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) aims to cover the cost of collection, sorting and recycling of packaging and incentivise producers through the fees they pay to ensure the products placed on the market are recyclable. It will also aim to reduce unnecessary packaging.
EPR is aiming to increase plastic packaging recycling rates to 62%. This does assume a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is in place. This recycling rate could be even higher with film collections. Overall, the packaging recycling rate for all materials is 73%.
EPR is also aiming to enhance the quality of material as well as encourage more domestic reprocessing.
The first phase of the EPR scheme was due to start in 2023 but has since been delayed.
EPR is intended to cover the full net cost of collection, sorting, recycling as well as associated litter costs, communication and education campaigns. It is being consulted on whether this should include just household or also business waste.
Producers who place packaging on the market will pay for 100% of the EPR charge. Brand owners and retailers producing their own brand packaging will need to pay the EPR charge along with importers and online marketplaces.
Companies will be obligated if their turnover is above £1m or they place more than 25 tonnes on the market. This is lower than previously in place with the PRN system. For a company who falls below £1 million / 25 tonnes then the wholesaler or supplier will be responsible for the cost of compliance.
What is the PRN System?
The PRN system is not designed to cover the full collection, sorting and recycling cost. It covers part of the cost and was designed to provide a mechanism to create more money in the system to encourage recycling when recycling targets are not being met then reduce costs when they are. This means there is no set price for PRNs and prices fluctuate significantly.
There have been ongoing issues with the PRN system due to the fact that there is a bias in the system towards export.
The cost of the PRN system is a shared obligation between raw material companies, convertors, packer fillers and sellers rather than having one point of compliance.
For more information on EPR please see the UK Government website: