The scheme places the cost of waste recovery on larger producers, but overhaul plans mean SMEs may no longer be exempt.
Members of the toy industry are being urged to respond to an online consultation put forward by the government amidst plans to shake up the existing Extended Producer Responsibility scheme by widening it to include packaging.
According to the DEFRA information page, the scheme 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. DEFRA says the proposals set out in the new Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging 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’.
However, while some SMEs below the de minimis threshold are currently excluded from having to pay these costs under the current system, there are plans to remove that threshold – meaning companies of all sizes may face substantial costs associated with waste recovery. Long term, there are fears this may have a knock-on affect at retail, reducing bottom line profitability for producers and, potentially, causing the cost of toys to inflate. Trade bodies have also expressed concerns that some SMEs may be unable to handle the complexities of reporting responsibilities under the proposed scheme.
DEFRA is seeking views from across the industry, as well as members of the public, on how the Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging scheme will function, saying responses to the consultation will help inform final policy decisions on key aspects of the scheme. If Toy World readers would like their views to be heard, they have until 4th June to reply to the consultation, which can be accessed here.
Toy World understands that the BTHA has replied to the consultation, and has provided its members with further information to aid them in responding individually. If you are a BTHA member and require assistance, please contact Natasha Crookes – Natasha@btha.co.uk. Companies outside BTHA membership are encouraged to create their own response, or talk to their compliance organisation about a response.
Readers can also contact DEFRA directly on 03459 335 577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will the proposed scheme affect your business? As always, Toy World wants to hear your views. Contact Rachael Simpson-Jones (email@example.com) or Sam Giltrow (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your thoughts.