UK environmental packaging regulations to be aware of

7 August 2023By ellie Reuseabox

UK environmental packaging regulations to be aware of

Did you know that sustainability is a top 10 priority for CEOs?

According to a survey by Gartner Inc., nearly three-quarters of CEOs agreed that increasing environmental, social and governance (ESG) is vital for attracting investors. They also believe it is now a competitive differentiator and is just as important as brand trust.

We are all becoming more aware of how consumerism is impacting the planet. The news is reporting the impact of climate change daily. Because of this, it is important that we take action.

And that includes the packaging industry.

To tackle the environmental impact of packaging, the UK government has begun introducing legislation that will help build a more circular economy as part of their 25-year environmental plan. This includes encouraging the use of sustainable packaging and reducing the amount of waste in landfills.

sustainable packaging and reducing the amount of waste in landfills.

What legislation could impact you if you use packaging?

Plastic Packaging Tax

Aimed to help tackle plastic waste, the Plastic Packaging Tax came into force in the UK in April 2022. The tax applies to plastic packaging manufactured in or imported into the UK containing less than 30% recycled content.

Because of this, it means that if you manufacture plastic packaging or import it, you could be liable to pay the tax.

Producer Responsibility Regulations

This regulation requires businesses that manufacture, import and sell packaging (as well as other materials such as waste electrical and electronic equipment) to be responsible for their end-of-life environmental impact. Because of this regulation:

• You must minimise waste and promote its reuse
• Ensure you meet recovery and recycling targets
• Design products that reduce material use and enhance reusability

Eco-friendly packaging

What about the new EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive?

Expected to come into force in 2025 for EU member states, this new legislation will ensure that all large companies report on their environmental and social impact. This will include packaging.

Although, further legislation for waste packaging has been put forward that will regulate waste reductions and involve setting targets for reusable packaging.

Despite this being an EU law, if you operate in these countries, it is expected you’ll have to abide by these legislations. And there have been discussions that the UK will introduce something similar.

How can I make my packaging more sustainable?

When you choose to reuse, you are picking the most eco-friendly packaging you can select for your products. When you keep a product in use for longer, you’re delaying the recycling process. This reduces the demand for new cardboard. Our Reuse Model works on Circular Economy principles to design out waste and protect our natural resources through the sharing economy.


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