LARAC responds to EPR Consultation

LARAC has given broad support to proposals for full net cost recovery in the recent consultation on EPR for packaging. However, LARAC continues to express concern about the use of reference costs within the consultation as they go against the concept of full net cost recovery that is at the centre of EPR reforms. LARAC also believes that material sales should lie with producers who are better placed to deal with the fluctuations in market values than local authorities are.

LARAC is concerned that proposals on business waste payments do not appear to be fit for purpose and would have expected to see more concrete proposals brought forward in such an important consultation. There are also some doubts about how proposals on payments for packaging in litter might be implemented.

Carole Taylor, Chair LARAC, said “the scope of costs that producers have to pay under EPR remains broad and that is how it should be, and is welcomed. However, there are aspects of the proposals in the consultation that put doubt in the mind of local authorities that they will get their full net costs. We must not end up in a situation where there so many strings attached to the funds that producers are not contributing as they should be to the local authority services that are dealing their packaging and helping them to achieve targets they have to meet.”

LARAC has expressed concern about the timeline for the collection of plastic film from households. The sorting infrastructure does not currently exist in the UK and end markets are still at the early stages of being proven. Until these considerable barriers can be overcome, there is little likelihood of widespread collection of film from households.

LARAC has shown support for mandatory labelling on packaging and is stating that OPRL is the logical choice. OPRL has a wealth of experience and is well recognised already by consumers. LARAC has said it will need to be supported by well-funded national campaigns as well as support for local campaigns to get people to use the services that local authorities provide.