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07 Oct

Extended Producer Responsibility

  • 07 October 2021 |

Extended Producer Responsibility has been pushed forward by the Government to ‘fix’ all obstacles to recycling packaging waste and coincidentally reduce Central Government funding towards the cost of collecting waste packaging from households across the UK. It is expected to cost around £2.7 billion in its first full year of operation.

We had a consultation in March – June this year and are still waiting for the results to be published. Talking by video link to the RWM trade show on 22 Sept, Chris Preston, the deputy director for resources and waste at Defra said that the department’s response to the consultations on these waste reforms will be published “later this year or early next” blaming Covid-19 for the delay. He also pointed out that the Environment Bill was also delayed and the latter was “absolutely core to underpinning our ability to deliver reforms”.

The timetable to implement the new regulations are ambitious and these delays make it increasingly unlikely that EPR will be up and running on-time in 2023.

07 Oct

Energy Efficiency

  • 07 October 2021 |

With fuel shortages, a problem with our underwater link to European electricity and rising gas prices, I am beginning to feel that I am trapped in a historic reality TV show set in the 1970s. Fortunately my MacBook and Wifi are allowed!

I thought it might be helpful to have a quick dip into some energy saving guides that I keep for posterity and inspiration.

5 top tips to combat increasing energy prices:

  1. Make sure that you are on the best tariff – look for a website that helps you to switch. Here is a link for domestic tariffs but some have business energy websites too.
  2. Install and use heating controls – We zone lighting so that we only have lights on where and when we want them on. Heating is just the same. Use thermostatic controls on radiators so that you can set the temperature in each room / area and use a timer to heat when you need it. If your set-up is simple you could control your heating from your phone and monitor energy usage via a smart meter as many of us do at home. For bigger business with Building Management Systems it is probably more important to make sure that it is optimised.
  3. Close doors and windows – It is simply a waste of money to heat a building while the doors and windows are open. In a previous life, our warehouse reduced energy loss by fitting an interlock that turned off the heating whenever the door was open – I wish I could remember the numbers but it was a significant proportion of energy.
  4. Insulate to save – Insulating the loft of a typical house can save about £150 per year. Just scale it up for bigger premises. Insulating the walls could add another £100 - £350 in energy savings.
  5. Make sure your boiler is operating efficiently – Servicing your boiler is a good idea and if you don’t have a condensing boiler, consider the upgrade to a new boiler (but the payback may be more than 5 years). The difference between an A rated and a G rated boiler is around £200 per year for a typical house.

And while there are queues for petrol, here are John’s top 5 tips to help improve fuel efficiency:

  1. Check your tyre pressures – Under inflated tyres drag and waste petrol. Over inflated tyres reduce your grip on the road.
  2. Remove excess weight from your vehicle. Remove all that junk that you do not need to carry with you everywhere.
  3. Reduce drag - Remove roof racks and roof boxes unless they are actually in use. They just create drag and waste petrol
  4. Take your time! – no seriously, roads around us in West Yorkshire are generally so busy that you are not going to pass the whole queue of cars, busses and trucks in front of you so just ease off a little, accelerate more gently and ease off the gas before you need to brake.
    But if the road does clear, for a 20-mile journey:
    @ 55mph estimated fuel consumption 50mpg and takes 22mins
    @ 70mph estimated fuel consumption 41mpg and takes 17 mins
  5. Aircon… Aircon costs 1 – 2% on your fuel economy but if you have the windows open above 40mph the air turbulence may cost more. You could turn it off unless it is a really hot day!
07 Oct

Plastics Packaging Tax - Autumn 2021

  • 07 October 2021 |


Update 25 Oct 2021 - HMRC issue updated and simplified guidance on PPT. Please click here to go to the PPT FAQs.

The UK is set to introduce a new Plastics Packaging Tax from April 2022. In case you are new to this, the tax will be paid by manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging (including plastic packaging filled on importation) that contains less than 30% recycled plastic and will be set at a rate of £200 per tonne.To ensure the tax does not disproportionately impact small businesses, those that manufacture or import less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging each year will not need to register or pay the tax. All businesses above this threshold must register, including businesses who already include more than 30% recycled plastic in their packaging.

To support businesses, HMRC published ‘Get your business ready for the Plastic Packaging Tax’ guidance on GOV.UK, which provides an overview and further information on the tax. The ‘Further information for businesses’ part of the guidance has recently been updated to provide further detail on:

  • The types of plastic packaging subject to the tax, including single-use products, such as carrier bags, sandwich bags and disposable cups.
  • Who is liable for the tax and when it is charged, by clarifying what is considered ‘last substantial modification’.
  • Delay on the requirement to include a statement with your invoice that the tax has been paid. This was due to commence in April 2022.

HMRC has also produced two ‘decision tree’ documents to provide a step-by-step guide to help business determine if plastic packaging is in scope of the tax, and who is required to account and potentially pay the tax:

  1. PPT – scope decision tree
  2. PPT – liability to register decision tree

Want to get involved in Research for Plastic Packaging Tax?

5th Oct 2021 - HMRC are looking to meet with people working in organisations who will assess liability for the Plastic Packaging Tax with a need to register for tax services, file returns and make payments. This is to get insight and test the service journey.

If you or your organisation would like to participate in a research session, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a contact name and email address of a suitable person who they can speak with.

Once you have sent your contact details, over the next few weeks you may be contacted by HMRC research services team with further details on how to take part. The session will take no longer than 1 hour.

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