Waste consultations: What commitments has the government made?

The government yesterday published responses to four separate consultations aimed at overhauling the waste system.

As part of this, DEFRA set out some of its own commitments, particularly on consistent recycling. However, the department made few concrete commitments on extended producer responsibility (EPR) or a deposit return scheme (DRS), instead promising further consultation. The Treasury, which was responsible for the plastic tax consultation, demonstrated an appetite to get things moving, aiming to implement the tax as early as 2022.

READ MORE: 9 things you need to know about the Environment Bill policy statement

Extended producer responsibility

DEFRA has confirmed that it will bring forward primary powers in the Environment Bill to implement a new producer responsibility system but it is not yet known which of the proposed models DEFRA will adopt. The department said it would launch a further consultation on the final proposals to take place in 2020, ahead of a 2023 implementation date. Some 48% of respondents favoured modulated fees and 17% wanted to see a deposit and fee system. However, more than a third of respondents said they were unsure about either approach without further information. The consultation response can be viewed here.

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