The Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) is concerned that following Defra’s announcement of a 12-month delay to the introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), government has now also confirmed a delay to mandatory paper cup takeback.
The takeback of paper cups by retailers was scheduled to be put in place in 2024. Under the scheme, businesses with more than 10 full-time or equivalent employees will be mandated to takeback paper cups.
This applies to all drinks supplied in paper cups, either for ‘on-the-go’ or ‘sit-in’ consumption. Retailers will be required to provide for the separate collection of both their own and their competitors’ used cups via instore and front-of-shop collection points – also taking on responsibility for arranging the paper cup collection and recycling.
A number of major retailers have invested significant sums over the last few years to provide facilities under the National Paper Cup Recycling Scheme – a voluntary and industry-led organisation. The scheme is highly effective due to the close relationship established between the paper cup supply chain, paper cup recyclers, and waste management operators.
The FPA believes the National Paper Cup Recycling Scheme offers a model that could be expanded to attract more retailers and increase recycling, and any delay in introducing mandatory paper cup takeback could have a negative impact on the growth of retailer support and participation.
“Businesses from all sectors of paper cup use are keen to make the takeback scheme work”, says Martin Kersh, Executive Director at the FPA. “Why dampen this enthusiasm, especially given the large increase in targets for recycling fibre-based packaging?
“The FPA hasn’t been consulted on any delay to the launch of the takeback scheme”, Kersh continues, “If government had asked us our response would have been: ‘Please don’t put the start date back. The voluntary scheme is continuing to grow, so let’s get on with increasing the number of paper cups being recycled. Businesses don’t want a delay and our members are keen to meet Defra’s targets’”.
Rob Tilsley, Fibre Operations Group Leader at James Cropper comments: “We have increased our capacity by 40% at our CupCycling plant – allowing us to recycle up to 700 million cups per annum – and have expanded the areas from which we will be collecting cups.
“Organisations from across the cup recycling ecosystem have invested heavily in supporting the mandatory takeback scheme, seeing this fantastic opportunity delayed is an unnecessary set back”.
“We have been teaming up with the key stakeholders in cup recycling for some time and seen significant investment in infrastructure as well as a high level of collaboration”, adds Hannah Osman, National Cup Recycling Scheme Manager at Valpak. “Having experienced such progress, it is vital at this stage that the industry is provided with certainty on the timings for implementing mandatory cup takeback”.
Kersh concludes: “Our members and their customers are really trying to increase the recycling of paper cups and it’s concerning that this latest delay announcement will inevitably put a brake on this”.
Notes to editors
Martin Kersh, Executive Director of the FPA, is available for interviews and/or further comment. Please contact Louise Holmes, FPA Media & Communications: 07909 728069 or email email@example.com
About the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) https://foodservicepackaging.org.uk
The Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) is a leading trade body, representing organisations associated with the foodservice packaging industry. Its membership includes both large global companies and smaller businesses – offering a broad range of foodservice products and services – together with organisations responsible for the waste collection, processing and recycling of foodservice packaging.
The FPA upholds the interests of its members when meeting with UK government, the devolved administrations, NGOs and other trade associations. Its executives sit on a number of steering groups, including: the DRS industry working group; the HMRC industry working group for the plastics tax; and the steering group for overall Defra reforms.
The FPA’s mission is to showcase innovation and provide a unified voice to advance and promote the foodservice packaging industry through advocacy and education. The annual FPA Exhibition and Awards celebrate members’ achievements and innovations; FPA Environment Seminars bring together high-level speakers from governments, industry and academia – allowing members to engage directly with policy makers and thought leaders; and the FPA’s weekly Digest disseminates complex issues, translating them into plain English to keep members informed of recent and upcoming legislation; environmental and sustainable issues; and the views and activities of relevant NGOs and other sector bodies.
The FPA is committed to promoting sustainable practices and responsible stewardship of the environment. All FPA members undertake to comply with the FPA Code of Practice, confirming that their organisations operate to the highest standards.
For further information about Valpak and John Cropper see https://www.valpak.co.uk/ and https://www.jamescropper.com
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