Executive Director Foodservice Packaging Association, Martin Kersh says:

“Further to the publication this week of the Defra EPR Consultation, the FPA welcomes the proposal for mandatory paper cup take back by coffee retailers, for which we lobbied persistently. This builds on the success of the current paper cup recovery scheme facilitated by the PCRRG (Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group) which enables consumers to return used paper cups from any retailer to participating coffee shops.

“However our request for membership fees and participation costs for cup collection schemes has not been accepted, but the FPA will continue to lobby for this and we will include the request in our consultation response.

“We feel the paper cup scheme forms the basis for similar programmes for a range of packaging and are keen to see this model adopted for other formats. The consultation proposes ‘all packaging waste (is) in scope unless backhauled/self-managed’.  We believe this is an excellent opportunity to ensure the principle is enshrined in law for other packaging to follow and to ensure money that would have been spent on EPR fees is spent to best effect by increasing the recycling rate.

“The proposal for mandatory take back includes a reference to a temporary exemption for small and micro businesses until business payments (for EPR) are in place. We have long argued for removing de minimus for all reforms as a principle to ensure all business participates. Government however is still in favour of a de minimus because, citing Germany, too many businesses would have to register for EPR. This is worrying because take back will work provided consumers know they can return used paper cups to any coffee retailer. The success of the system is dependent on convenience and developing the take back habit.”