EPR packaging regulations | Blog | Seafish

Are Extended Producer Responsibility packaging regulations on your radar?

Some seafood businesses may need to start reporting packaging data to comply with new recycling regulations. Read our blog to find out more.

Reducing the impact of food packaging continues to be a priority for the UK government in 2023. Updated guidance has been published on the government website about Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which changes how organisations responsible for packaging must fulfil their recycling obligations. 

This follows quickly on the heels of the Plastic Packaging Tax, a new £200 per tonne levy affecting large numbers of seafood businesses.  

A box of cut squid tubes individually wrapped in plastic packaging

Scope of EPR

It is worth starting out by saying we expect less seafood businesses will be affected by EPR compared to Plastic Packaging Tax.

Businesses are in scope for EPR if they:

  • have an annual turnover of £1 million or more;
  • are responsible for over 25 tonnes of packaging annually
  • and ‘carry out any of the packaging activities’.

The 25-tonne threshold is higher than the 10-tonne threshold in place for Plastic Packaging Tax. This indicates that fewer seafood businesses will be in scope of EPR.

Important dates for businesses in scope

What you need to do depends on whether you’re classed as a ‘small’ or ‘large’ organisation. This is based on:

  • your annual turnover;
  • how much packaging you handle and supply each year.

If your business is classed as a large organisation, the first return is due on 1 October 2023. Small organisations have until 1 April 2024 to complete first returns. So, in these respects, there is time to get to grips with what’s expected. However, businesses in scope, regardless of size, have been asked to record data about packaging they handle and supply from 1 January 2023. Extended Producer Responsibility needs to be on your radar right now.

Advice and support

If you need advice or support on packaging regulations or any other regulations, please contact us by emailing regulation@seafish.co.uk and a member of our Regulation team will contact you.

We welcome feedback about your experience of EPR to date, which you can share with us by using the above email address. 

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