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Fortnightly Bulletin – 18th September 2023

18 September 2023

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Legislation

Draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations 2024

The draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations 2024 were published in support of an ongoing consultation, which is due to close on the 9th of October 2023.

If adopted, these draft regulations would consolidate producer responsibility requirements for packaging waste and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme, bringing both into a single regime. The date this legislation will come into force has yet to be confirmed.

The draft regulations also include the following changes to the EPR scheme:

  • Organisations self-managing packaging waste will need to report the UK nation where waste was collected and sent for recycling.
    • If managed in another nation, this will also need to be reported.
  • Where waste packaging that is not commonly collected by local authorities is collected and recycled by the producer, this may be offset against disposal fee obligations.

The draft regulations also set out requirements regarding the provision of recycling information, and take-back obligations for fibre-based cups.

The final version of the regulations will set recycling targets for 2025 through 2030. 2024 targets will be set by amendments to the existing regulations (Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007.

Source: gov.uk

For the full draft legislation, click here.

Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2023

These regulations will amend the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016, and will apply to England and Wales only.

The regulations will apply to materials facilities receiving mixed waste in volumes of 1,000 tonnes or more, extending their waste sampling, reporting, and record keeping duties. For example, the list of materials to be identified in samples will be expanded, and further output materials to be reported will be added. Also, the definition of ‘materials facilities’ has been expanded to include waste transfer stations, bulking stations and facilities managing source-segregated or single waste streams.

These changes will support the introduction of the Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging, which requires more comprehensive data.

Changes to waste sampling include the following:

  • An increase in the average sampling rate from 60kg every 125 tonnes to 60kg every 75 tonnes.
  • An expanded list of materials to be identified including:
    • aluminium,
    • steel,
    • card,
    • plastic bottles,
    • pots and trays,
    • film or flexible plastic,
    • other plastic and fibre-based composite materials.

Revised reporting duties include the following:

  • Two further categories of output material will also need to be reported:
    • fibre-based composite material,
    • card.
  • All raw data gathered will need to be reported to the regulator.
  • Materials facilities will be required to keep records for seven years, increasing from the existing four year requirement.

Source: gov.uk

For the full legislation, click here.

Guidance

Documentation for business waste at take back points: RPS 283

This regulatory position statement (RPS) does not change your legal requirement to produce waste transfer or consignment notes when you transfer your waste or hazardous waste to a wholesaler or retailer take back collection point. The collection point must be operated in line with the non-waste framework directive (NWFD) exemption 4.

However, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with these legal requirements if you meet the requirements in the RPS.

The regulatory position does not apply to any other legal requirements.

Source: gov.uk

For the full guidance, click here.

Treating, storing, and using carbon dioxide from anaerobic digestion: RPS 255

The RPS does not change your legal requirement to have an environmental permit for a waste operation when you capture, treat, store and use carbon dioxide (CO2) from AD of waste.

However, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with this legal requirement if you meet the requirements in this RPS.

This regulatory position does not apply to any other legal requirements.

Source: gov.uk

For the full guidance, click here.

Segregating waste upholstered domestic seating that may contain POPs at HWRCs: RPS 266

The Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) does not change your legal requirement to take all reasonable steps to avoid contaminating other waste with persistent organic pollutants (POPs) when you collect, receive and store items of waste upholstered domestic seating:

However, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with this legal requirement when segregating waste upholstered domestic seating at a HWRC or as part of a bulky waste collection service from households if you meet the requirements in this RPS.

The regulatory position does not apply to any other legal requirements.

Source: gov.uk

For the full guidance, click here.

Recovering unused waste plastics coded 16 03 06: RPS 273

The RPS does not change your legal requirement to take all reasonable steps to have an environmental permit for a waste operation or a waste exemption when you store, treat and use plastic ‘off specification batches and unused products’ coded as 16 03 06 for recovery.

However, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with these legal requirements if you meet the requirements in the RPS.

The regulatory position does not apply to any other legal requirements.

Source: gov.uk

For the full guidance, click here.

Use of manufactured topsoil: RPS 190

This RPS does not change your legal requirement to have an environmental permit for a waste operation when you store and use a manufactured topsoil made from waste.

However, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with this legal requirement if you meet the requirements in this RPS.

This regulatory position does not apply to any other legal requirements.

Source: gov.uk

For the full guidance, click here.

Temporary storage of waste coffee pods: RPS 282

This RPS does not change your legal requirement to have or comply with an environmental permit when you store waste coffee pods if you do not benefit from a relevant NWFD exemption, Schedule 3, Part 5 of The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.

However, the Environment Agency will not normally take enforcement action if you do not comply with this legal requirement if you meet the requirements in the RPS.

The regulatory position does not apply to any other legal requirements.

Source: gov.uk

For the full guidance, click here.

Articles of Interest

Climate Change Committee says UK is no longer a world leader

A government watchdog has warned that government backing for new oil and coal, airport expansion plans and slow progress on heat pumps show that the UK has lost its leadership on climate issues.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) described government efforts to scale up climate action as “worryingly slow”, expressing it was “markedly” less confident than a year ago that the UK would reach its carbon emissions targets.

The UK set legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. At the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow in 2021, then prime minister Boris Johnson vowed to cut emissions by 68% on 1990 levels by the end of the decade.

The CCC report warned “continued delays in policy development and implementation” meant reaching them was “increasingly challenging”. Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Graham Stuart, said in response to the report that the government had met all its carbon targets to date and was confident of doing so in the future.

The CCC report also set out the following:

  • More needs to be done to encourage us all to install heat pumps, insulate our homes, reduce how much meat we eat and fly less.
  • The switch to renewable power needs to be ramped up.
  • There needs to be a huge increase in the number of trees planted and the speed of peatland restoration.
  • Glimmers of the Net Zero transition can be seen in growing sales of electric cars and the growing renewable power sector.

Source: bbc.co.uk

For the full article, click here.

Fines and Prosecutions

Housing firm pays £100k for polluting Bradford waterway

An investigation found that watercourse, Pitty Beck, was polluted a number of times between 2016 and 2018 during a construction project at Heron’s Reach. The associated housing construction company first reported pollution from the site on 13 October 2016, confirming silty water was running from the Beck.

The same event reoccurred over subsequent months, and the housing company also breached the conditions of a permit allowing the discharge of water from an outlet at the site.

The housing company agreed to pay £100,000 after polluting the waterway on the site it was developing. A contractor on site, contracted for the first phase of the development, will also pay £35,000.

As part of the undertaking, the housing construction company also revised its surface water management plan for the site, while the contractor updated its environmental management system and delivered bespoke training to staff.

Ben Hocking, area manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Housing construction companies – like all companies carrying out any major development work – have a responsibility to ensure their work does not impact on the environment and we will take action when pollution occurs.”

Bradford-based environmental charity the Aire Rivers Trust said it would use the donations to monitor and prevent pollution and restore riverside habitats.

Source: bbc.co.uk

For the full article, click here.

Waste company has permit suspended for improper storage

A recycling facility in Southwaite cannot accept any waste due to their permit being suspended. The permit was suspended after the facility was storing non-hazardous waste in areas of the site that do not have sealed drainage.

Any waste brought to site is classed as a criminal offence. The consequence of the suspension requires the operator to reduce the amount of waste being stored.

The Environmental Agency will now continue to monitor the site ensuring it is complying with the permit suspension.

Source: waste360.com

For the full article, click here.

Online Learning and Events

Maximising Natural Capital Benefits for Brownfield and Sustainable Development

27th September 2023, 11:00-13:00pm

This webinar will explore how government seeks to support the reframing of nature in terms of the value to people and the economy to create sustainable development. Speakers will discuss how, by taking a ‘natural capital’ approach to decision making, development can maximise eco goods and services to get more from our land. From the simple concept of delivering the ‘right land use in the right place’ to the more complex considerations of achieving and maintaining biodiversity or environmental net gain post-development. Attendees will hear, through case study examples, about how organisations are already implementing this approach and the resulting benefits achieved.

The event will be chaired by Mark Hill (Climate & Sustainability – Lead at The Pensions Regulator), and the following presentations confirmed so far include:

• ‘What is Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and how does it apply to brownfield and remediation sites?’ by Jon Davies (Director at RSK Wilding and Nature Positive).

• ‘The Role of Land in Delivering Scotland’s Fourth National Planning Framework’ by David Stewart (Policy and Practice Lead at Scottish Land Commission).

• ‘Remediation and Sustainable Growth Tool – Development of Natural Capital Metrics for Land Remediation’ by Yolande Macklin (Jacobs) and Darren Beriro (British Geological Survey).

Tickets for this webinar are £30 including VAT.

For further information, click here.

Birmingham: Biodiversity Net Gain: Different Perspectives

28th September 2023, 12:30-14:00pm

This Birmingham Regional Group in-person or online event explores Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG).

Attendees will have the opportunity to explore some of the alternative views and impacts from the upcoming Environment Act legislation, across natural capital and the built environment.

For further information, click here.

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