Consultation on reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system

Closed 13 May 2019

Opened 18 Feb 2019


This consultation seeks views on measures to reduce the amount of unnecessary and difficult to recycle packaging and increase the amount of packaging that can and is recycled, through reforms to the packaging producer responsibility regulations. It also proposes that the full net costs of managing packaging waste are placed on those businesses who use packaging and who are best placed to influence its design. This is consistent with the polluter pays principle and the concept of extended producer responsibility.

Why your views matter

We have had a system of producer responsibility for packaging in place since 1997. This has helped to drive recycling of packaging waste from 25%, 20 years ago to 64.7% in 2016. Over this period we have met all our UK and EU packaging waste recycling targets, and the cost of compliance to business has been kept low when compared to other EU Member States. However, like any system that is over 20 years old, it is in need of reform. Stakeholders have expressed concerns over the transparency of the system including how income from the sale of evidence has supported packaging waste recycling; that local authorities receive limited direct financial support for managing packaging waste; and that there is not a level playing field for domestic reprocessing.

Our ambitions have increased too and in recent months we have seen a rise in public consciousness when it comes to the need to tackle packaging waste. We want unnecessary and difficult to recycle packaging to reduce substantially; we want more packaging designed to be recyclable; we want more packaging waste to be recycled; and we want more packaging to be made from recycled material. We also want fewer packaging items to be littered and for it to be easier for people and businesses to recycle their packaging waste. Reforming the packaging waste system addresses these ambitions and the commitments made by all national governments in the UK.

The questions are designed to be answered with reference to the consultation document below; please view this document as you answer the online survey. Not all questions in this consultation are mandatory. The consultation is split in to three parts and 12 sub-sections. Not all sections may be relevant to all stakeholders. If you do not want to answer all sections you do not need to.

Please note that this consultation will close at 23:59 on 13th May.


  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Environmental campaigners
  • Food Business Operators
  • Food Industry
  • Government Departments
  • Government Agencies
  • Devolved Administrations
  • Industries and professional services
  • Environmental professional services
  • Households
  • Local Authorities
  • Non-Household Customers
  • Waste Producers and Handlers
  • Business/Private Sector
  • Local Authorities
  • Producer Compliance Schemes
  • WEEE Treatment Facilities
  • Waste Management Companies
  • Non-Government Organisation
  • Manufacturing Industry
  • SME businesses


  • Conservation