10 June 2022

How UK organisations can prepare for EPR for packaging

The UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency have issued guidance to companies on how to prepare for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging.

Packaging waste
© Vivianne Lemay/unsplash

The way UK organisations responsible for packaging must carry out their recycling responsibilities is changing. If you are affected by the new EPR for packaging, you must take steps to collect the correct packaging data from 1 January 2023.

Who needs to take action?

The regulations will apply to all UK organisations that handle and supply packaging. You must take action to comply if all the following apply:

  • You are an individual business, subsidiary or group (but not a charity)
  • You have an annual turnover of £1mln or more (based on your most recent annual accounts)
  • You responsible for over 25t of packaging in a calendar year (January to December)
  • You carry out any of the packaging activities listed

Packaging activities

  • Packaging own-brand products to sell to UK consumers
  • Using a third party to package and sell own-brand goods to UK consumers
  • using ‘transit packaging’ to protect goods during transport so they can be sold to UK consumers
  • Importing own-brand and third-party packaged products into the UK to sell to consumers, unless doing so on behalf of a third party (such as a supermarket)
  • Allowing third parties based outside the UK to sell packaged products or empty packaging through an online marketplace that you own
  • hiring or loaning out reusable packaging to UK third parties
  • Making and then selling empty packaging to third-party organisations that do not need to take action under the regulations

Chair of IOM3 Packaging Group, Jude Allan, comments, "While there are still details to be finalised, we all need to be getting ready for EPR and these guidelines from DEFRA are an important way to help businesses start to understand what their obligations and responsibilities will be." 

Find out what you need to do to prepare for EPR.

EPR courses from IOM3 Training Academy

An Introduction to EPR for Packaging

One-day course providing an overview of the new Extended Producer Responsibility scheme for packaging


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