Fortnightly Bulletin – 6th February 2023
6 February 2023
Packaging Waste (Data Reporting) (Scotland) Regulations 2023
The Packaging Waste (Data Reporting) (Scotland) Regulations 2023 will come into force on the 28th of February 2023.
The regulations apply obligations for Scottish businesses to collect data and report on the quantity of packaging handled, purchased, filled, or imported in 2023, to support the introduction of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime for packaging in 2024.
The EPR aims to recover the full net costs of packaging waste management, and will act as an extension of the existing packaging waste producer responsibility scheme. The collected data will be used to calculate fees due on Scottish businesses under the EPR legislation.
This legal update will mean that different obligations will apply to small organisation and large organisations:
- Large organisations: those that supplied or handled 50 tonnes or more of empty packaging or packaged goods in the UK in the preceding calendar year; and had a turnover of £2million or greater in the prior financial year.
- Small organisations: those that supplied or handled 25 tonnes or more of empty packaging or packaged goods in the UK in the preceding calendar year; and had a turnover of £1million or greater in the prior financial year.
Large organisations are already obligated for the data collection and reporting, under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007. They are required to collect the packaging data and report it to SEPA every six months.
Small organisations are required to collect the packaging data annually, but are not required to report it.
The first report for large organisations is due by the 1st October 2023, for financial quarters one and two, and the second report will be due by 1st April 2024 for quarters three and four of 2023.
Landfill Disposals Tax (Tax Rates) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2022
These regulations will increase the rates of landfill tax payable for disposals in Wales. Wastes which meet specified descriptions are subject to a lower rate of landfill tax.
The Landfill Disposal Tax (Tax Rates) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 have been enacted to support the Landfill Disposal Tax (Wales) Act 2017, and will come into force from the 1st of April 2023.
The disposal of materials to landfill in Wales on or after the 1st of April 2023 will be taxed at the following rates per tonne:
- Standard Rate: £102.10 (increased from £98.60).
- Lower Rate: £3.25 (increased from £3.15).
- Unauthorised Disposals rate: £153.15 (increased from £147.90).
Wastes that meet the descriptions given in Schedule 1 of the regulations are subject to the lower rate of tax. All other waste materials are subject to the standard rate.
Required Qualifications to Work with F-Gas
Under the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2015, individuals must have their own qualifications to work on equipment containing F-Gases, even when working for someone else.
For stationary refrigeration, air conditioning, and heat pump systems (RACHP systems), you must hold qualifications to:
- install new systems,
- service and maintain systems,
- check for leaks,
- recover gases,
- decommission and dispose of old systems,
- work on refrigerated trucks over 3.5 tonnes,
- work on refrigerated trailers made to be towed by trucks or trailers.
The required certifications for these include:
- a Category 1 certificate to carry out all activities,
- a Category 2 certificate to install, maintain, service and recover refrigerant from systems containing less than 3kg of F-Gas, or less than 6kg of F-Gas if hermetically sealed,
- a Category 3 certificate to recover refrigerant from systems that contain less than 3kg of F-Gas, or less than 6kg of F-Gas if hermetically sealed,
- a Category 4 certificate to check equipment for leaks if you do not break into the refrigeration circuit.
You must have a qualification from the following accredited organisations:
- City and Guilds.
- Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).
- LCL Awards.
- Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) – CITB are no longer issuing new F-Gas qualifications or certification.
Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Exemptions for Electrical and Electronic Equipment: How to Apply
If you manufacture, import, or distribute electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) for the market in Great Britain, you must make sure that levels of certain hazardous substances and chemicals in the product are not exceeded.
There are some exemptions from restrictions on the use of hazardous substances when manufacturing EEE. The exemptions can be granted based on the following criteria:
- The use of the restricted substance will not weaken environment and health protection provided by REACH (registration, evaluation, authorisation, and restriction of chemicals) regulations.
- Substitutes for a restricted substance are not scientifically or technically practicable or reliable.
- The negative social, health and consumer impacts of any substitute are greater than the benefits.
Defra could also consider the following to evaluate a proposed exemption:
- Negative socio-economic impacts of a substitute.
- Availability of a substitute (for example, whether alternatives can be produced and delivered within a reasonable timeframe compared with the substance in question).
- Life cycle assessment on impacts of exemption.
- Impacts on innovation.
When applying, you should provide evidence related to more than one of the above criteria. If you only meet one if the listed criteria, you will not qualify for an exemption. Defra are the deciding authority on whether an exemption will be granted, and the conditions that will apply.
Articles of Interest
UK ‘Wasted’ Enough Wind Energy to Power 1.2 Million Homes this Winter
A new analysis from the consultancy, Stonehaven, on behalf of energy storage developer Highview Power, claims that the UK wasted enough energy generated from wind to provide energy for 1.2 million homes in the UK between October 2022 and January 2023. Over the same timeframe, the study claims that the UK imported £60 billion in gas.
The analysis studied ‘Ofgem’ statistics for household electricity use, with grid-scale estimates from a 2022 ‘Aurora Study,’ and wind energy estimates based on balancing markets bid volumes, published by Elexon.
Between October 2022 and January 2023, the UK was unable to store as much as 1.35 TWh of wind during peak conditions, enough to power 1.2 million homes. This wind could have been used to power homes during cold days with no wind.
Highview Power claims that the UK instead had to rely on £60bn of foreign imports of gas. Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal the UK imported nearly £20bn of gas in 2021 as a whole, a 312% increase on the £4.8bn from 2020.
The claims from Highview Power came on the same day that the industry body ‘RenewableUK’ warned that current planning processes for onshore wind projects are stifling capacity and hindering progress towards the nation’s wind targets.
The research found that 10 new onshore wind projects were installed in 2022, adding 318MW and powering a further 209,000 homes. However, this is less than the 370MW added the previous year.
In response, the industry is calling for a reform of the planning system in order to scale up both onshore and offshore projects. The Government’s Energy Security Strategy sets out a new target to decide on offshore planning applications in 12 months, with some projects still taking more than four years under current planning processes.
Electric Vehicles set to Account for One in Four Car Registrations this Year
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a UK-based trade body for the automotive industry, published its ‘car registration figures for January’ on the 6th of February 2023. The figures confirm that, although the number of registrations were 12% lower than in January 2020 (the last ‘pre-pandemic’ January), they are 15% higher than in January 2022.
As previous data digests from the SMMT has shown, the markets for pure-electric and hybrid vehicles have weathered the storm of Covid-19 more strongly than their internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts – particularly diesel.
New diesel car registrations in January were 12% down year-on-year. In contrast, hybrid-electric car registrations were up by 40.6% and pure electric car registrations were up 19.8% on January 2022 figures. Plug-in hybrid electric car registrations also saw a modest year-on-year increase of 0.7%. In total, one in five new cars registered last month came with a plug.
The SMMT is forecasting this proportion to increase to one in four cars throughout this year.
It is anticipating an 11.1% market uplift, year-on-year, to be driven by electric cars. While the SMMT has noted supply chain disruptions and accounted for economic downturn, it ultimately notes that these challenges impact ICE cars, too, and that the electric car market is likely to remain stronger.
Fines and Prosecutions
Owner of North East Waste Site that Burned Down Sentenced
An individual appeared in court on Thursday the 26th of January after pleading guilty to a series of waste and fly-tipping offences in a case brought by the Environment Agency.
Waste had been kept illegally on his site, which subsequently caught fire in February 2022, five months after the Environment Agency secured a court order to shut the site down due to fire-risk.
The blaze saw the East Coast rail line closed, schools shut down, residents told to stay indoors, and local businesses disrupted to the amount of hundreds of thousands of pounds as Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service deployed more than 250 officers and 10 appliances to tackle it.
The individual was also sentenced after accepting responsibility for large amounts of fly-tipped waste nearby, in a linked investigation carried out in partnership between the Environment Agency and local authority.
The individual was sentenced to 30 weeks imprisonment, and suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of community service, and undergo 20 days of rehabilitation activity work with the probation service. For the fly-tipping offences, he was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay almost £12,000 in prosecution costs.
Online Learning and Events
The Critical Success Factors of implementing your Net-Zero Plan
23rd February 2023 13:00
In this webinar, Doyin Adeleye, Managing Consultant at Energise, will share what you need to consider before implementing your net-zero strategy. Using real-life examples and case studies, Doyin will provide invaluable insight into what turning ambition into action looks like across a variety of industries. Following a stocktake of key lessons, the session will also take a closer look at two organisations with two different starting points in their transition to net-zero.
Greenwashing – Reflections of Another Busy Year
8th February 2023 12:30-13:30
Responding to previous questions posed by IEMA members, the session will begin by looking at the breadth of claims falling within the Advertising Standards Authority’s remit and look to address common misconceptions around what constitutes an environmental claim. We will hear from the person who oversees the complaints and investigation process at the ASA, sharing his insights into the ASA’s response to environmental claims on goods and services and a discussion of some key rulings in 2022 and the lessons that we can learn. We will also reflect upon international developments in respect of this global issue.
Supply Chain Sustainability: Moving from Risk to Resilience
15th February 2023
Backed up by real-life case studies, this Edie webinar and masterclass will bring together a selection of sustainability and supply chain experts to showcase how organisations large and small can take their supply chain sustainability strategy onto the next level in 2023 – with a focus on reducing Scope three emissions and tackling modern slavery.
The 90-minute session is broken into two parts: a 60-minute webinar will explore the crucial interlink between supply chain sustainability and net-zero; and a 30-minute masterclass focused on how the Modern Slavery Act can be used to tackle inequalities and enhance social sustainability at every point in the chain.