Extended Producer Responsibility and what it means for you

Extended Producer Responsibility and what it means for you

As of the 1st March businesses affected by Extended Producer Responsibility must start to record data on all the packaging they put into the UK market. This applies to businesses in England, Scotland and NI, with similar requirements coming into force later this month for businesses in Wales.

You need to report packaging data 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 (January to December)
  • you carry out any of the packaging activities below

Packaging activities include:

  • supply packaged goods to the UK market under your own brand
  • place goods into packaging that’s unbranded when it’s supplied
  • use ‘transit packaging’ to protect goods during transport so they can be sold to UK consumers
  • import products in packaging
  • own an online marketplace
  • hire or loan out reusable packaging
  • supply empty packaging

You can find out if your business is required to record and submit packaging data, by using the EPR obligation checker . The table below shows a summary of which producers are obligated to comply and is based on packaging tonnage per calendar year:

Some producers must also adhere to “Nation of Sale Obligation Thresholds”, as shown in the table below which refers to Turnover and Tonnage.

These new EPR rules mean that firms that are involved in the supply of household packaging are responsible for the costs of dealing with packaging waste, moving these away from councils and council taxpayers, thus paying for the collection and disposal costs of household packaging they supply when it becomes waste.

The rationale is that producers will be encouraged to reduce the amount of packaging they place on the market whilst improving the recyclability of their packaging thus less waste ends up in the environment via landfill or incineration.

Producers with a turnover of greater than £2 million and who handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging each year must also report this information to the Environment Agency twice a year. The first reports must be submitted from 1 October 2023.