In March 2019 our consultants led two days of workshops in Brussels to gather ideas, facilitate discussions and canvass industry opinions for two studies that we are currently undertaking for the European Commission.

One of these reports relates to the development of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) (covering packaging, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and batteries), with the other covering the effectiveness of the Essential Requirements aspect of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.

Monday 11th March saw our Chairman Dominic Hogg and Principal Consultant Tim Elliott lead a workshop with key industry stakeholders on packaging related matters (both EPR and the Essential Requirements). The objectives of the workshop were to share information about the ongoing studies, providing the opportunity for feedback and discussion around some of the issues to be addressed, and outlining the process for stakeholder engagement throughout the studies.

The second workshop, held on Tuesday 12th March, focused on waste electrical and electronic equipment and batteries. As well as examining existing, planned and potential approaches to fee modulation, it also sought to share experiences around, and explore mechanisms to address, free-riding.

Our Head of Environmental Policy and Economics, Dr Chris Sherrington, gave an opening presentation introducing our study. Mark Hilton, our Head of Sustainable Business, then discussed the topic of online sales and free-riding, referring to his recent report with the OECD on EPR and the Impact of Online Sales.

In both workshops, presentations were made by leading industry figures, before the discussion was opened to the floor to gather opinions and insights from the audience.

Both workshops saw informed and detailed debate around the issues addressed, including fee-modulation and harmonisation across Member States. The points raised in the workshops are informing our current thinking in relation to the development of EPR.