LARAC Response to NAO Report

LARAC has welcomed the National Audit Office (NAO) report into packaging recycling stating it shows that the current system is in need of urgent reform as part of the forthcoming Resource and Waste Strategy. LARAC highlights the low cost of compliance for UK companies compared to those in other countries as ongoing proof that the public sector is shouldering the burden and it is time for producer responsibility in the UK to fully fund collection and recycling services.

LARAC has long called for a change to the producer responsibility regime in the UK and it was one of the key recommendations in the LARAC policy paper “The Future of Local Authority Funding” published in April this year. LARAC has been working with DEFRA to provide a local authority viewpoint of the issues connected with fundamental reform so that future funding of local authority services from producers is transparent and full.

Carole Taylor, Chair LARAC, said “The NAO report is yet more proof that the UK producer responsibility regime is woefully inadequate in funding the collection, treatment and reprocessing of packaging. It is time for the UK to fall in line with other countries and pump funds from producers into local authority collection services. We are looking for that type of reform and change in the forthcoming Resource and Waste Strategy from DEFRA”.

The report backs up the findings of a LARAC member survey that showed little PRN funding flowing through to councils. LARAC also found hardly any evidence of transparent price support from PRN funding despite this being presented as one way in which local authorities benefitted from PRN funding.

LARAC echoes the need for better data for non-household waste that is contained in the report and is calling for a national data reporting system that matches the Waste Data Flow system that local authorities are required to use.

For further information please contact Carole Taylor, Chair LARAC, on 01282 661747.