LEATHERHEAD, Surrey, UK and AKRON, Ohio, USA – May 29 2022 – Extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes are fast emerging as the preferred legislative for managing single-use plastics, and implementing a truly circular economy for all packaging materials. While there is enthusiasm for these in some sectors of the industry, adapting to EPR rules will have both cost and operational implication for packaging producers and users.
Published this month, The Impact of EPR Legislation on the Packaging Industry to 2032
from Smithers charts how these schemes will develop in the short term and across the next decade. While the trend is most advanced in Europe – where EPRs are an existing solution for e-waste, batteries, and road vehicles – this is a global trend. Smithers’ analysis considers existing and prospective EPR legislation for packaging in fifteen global regions and leading national markets; with EU rules forming a template to compare and assess alternative approaches.
An EPR framework provides a broader umbrella for a more sustainable future for packaging, and Smithers assesses the potential impact within them of multiple specific measures, including:
- Product and material prohibitions
- Fees, taxes, and surcharges
- Increased recycling targets
- Requirements mandating minimum recycled content
- Design for recyclability protocols.
This covers not just common packaging plastics (PET, LDPE, HDPE, PVC, PP, PS, Other); but also paperboard (folding cartons, corrugated), metal (aluminium, steel) and glass packaging formats.
Authored to directly address the needs of packaging and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, this identifies seven design priorities as the sector adapts to this emergent regulatory landscape.
- Designing packaging that is easier to deconstruct and recycle at end-of-life
- Creating new and existing formats that can incorporate higher levels of recycled materials, without compromising material performance, aesthetics, or safety.
- Investing in waste management infrastructure for collection, sorting, and recycling
- Lightweighting and simplifying existing packaging formats
- The wider deployment of re-use and re-fill packaging platforms
- Implementing sustainable sourcing chains for packaging materials
- Identifying market niches for biodegradable packaging substrates.
This is further contextualised for the packaging industry by an in-depth examination of the impact these changes will have on business operations in the form of extra charges, organisational and recording keeping requirements, and the steps converters and brand owners are already taking to prepare.
The Impact of EPR Legislation on the Packaging Industry to 2032 delivers expert critical insight into the short- and medium-term evolution of this important trend for the whole packaging value. It profiles the latest regulatory requirements, proposals and best practices for managing the transition to EPRs in packaging through to 2032.