EFS Consulting

Northern Ireland widens EPR scheme for packaging

Financial burdens are moved away from taxpayers to producers who will be fully responsible in the course of the ‘polluter pays principle’. This is accompanied by higher recycling targets and other environmental stipulations.

Main focus of the draft Regulations is the implementation of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive of the EU (94/62/EC) in Northern Ireland. There are a few obligations which are not yet in force in the territory.

Obligations to be implemented

The specific provisions to be implemented are the Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging (Article 7), the disposal costs (Part 6), packaging waste recycling targets for 2025 to 2030 which is part of the recycling obligations (Schedule 5), the labelling provisions concerning recyclability assessments and recycling information (Part 3) and the recycling information obligations themselves (Chapter 2).


The current producer responsibility system for packaging is in force since 1997 across the UK, however it has never placed the full financial burden on the producer. New requirements will shift the full cost of managing household packaging waste from local taxpayers and councils to the packaging producers, based on the ‘polluter pays principle.’ This places financial responsibility on producers throughout the packaging’s life cycle. The Scheme Administrator can adjust producer fees to promote environmentally sustainable packaging, especially recyclable options.

Entry into force

Though the Amendment is still a draft, the expected date of adoption is unknown. Different obligations have various grace periods even after the enforcement of the new Regulation, so no clear answer can be given at this point in time.

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