Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging

Closed 4 Jun 2021

Opened 24 Mar 2021


Following strong support, Government committed to introduce packaging Extended Producer Responsibility following a further consultation. This second consultation focuses on specific policy proposals for its introduction, including the scope of full net costs, producer obligations, scheme governance, regulation of the scheme, and packaging waste recycling targets. The proposals set out in this consultation document work together to create a scheme that incentivises producers to design packaging that is easy to recycle and ensure that they pay the full net cost of managing this packaging once it becomes waste. This is in line with the polluter-pays principle.

Why your views matter

The current producer responsibility system for packaging has been in place since 1997 and predates the introduction of devolved government in Scotland and Wales in 1999.  It operates UK-wide under GB and parallel Northern Ireland regulations. In response to commitments made by the four governments to reform the existing regime and to incentivise producers to take more responsibility for the materials and products they place on the market, the UK Government, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland published a joint consultation in February 2019 setting out proposals to reform the producer responsibility system for packaging. 

Extended Producer Responsibility is an established policy approach adopted by many countries around the world, across a broad range of products and materials. It gives producers an incentive to make better, more sustainable decisions at the product design stage including decisions that make it easier for products to be re-used or recycled at their end of life. It also places the financial cost of managing products once they reach end of life on producers.

This second consultation sets out our proposals for the introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging. We are seeking views from across the industry, as well as members of the public, on how the scheme will function to ensure it achieves the desired outcomes. Responses to this consultation will help inform final policy decisions on key aspects of the scheme, such as governance, recycling targets and implementation timelines.

We encourage you to respond to this consultation. Your responses will help ensure an effective system is put in place and inform the regulatory framework required to deliver this change. 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 sections may be relevant to all stakeholders. Please use the contents page to guide you to the sections you want to view and answer questions on. Please read the questions carefully, and only provide comment or evidence where asked. You do not need to answer all the questions.

Please note that this consultation will close at 23:59 on 4th June 2021.


  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Environmental campaigners
  • Food Business Operators
  • Food Industry
  • Devolved Administrations
  • Households
  • Local Authorities
  • Non-Household Customers
  • Consumer Groups
  • Waste Producers and Handlers
  • Business/Private Sector
  • Local Authorities
  • Producer Compliance Schemes
  • Waste Management Companies
  • Non-Government Organisation
  • Retail Industry
  • Manufacturing Industry
  • Member of the General Public
  • SME businesses
  • Professional and Membership Organisations/Agencies
  • Stakeholders


  • Climate change
  • Waste and recycling
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Consultations
  • Impact Assessments
  • DEFRA Policy
  • Retailers