Huge savings for wholesalers after DEFRA changes ERP definitions

Wholesalers will see a large reduction in costs after the UK government amended its definition of household packaging in the Packing Waste Regulations under the ERP framework.

The previous definition of household packaging led to certain types of business-only packaging becoming a cost duty for wholesalers, with this now set to be listed as household packaging instead.

Defra said: “We received valuable feedback from stakeholders who expressed concern that the previous definition of household packaging resulted in some business-only packaging attracting a disposal cost obligation, particularly where the packaging was supplied via wholesalers or intermediaries. To address this, we have amended the definition of household packaging to ensure that business-only packaging that is not likely to be disposed of in a household bin, will not be classified as household packaging.”

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“This is a big win for the wholesale sector,” said James Bielby, chief executive of the FWD. “The household waste definition would have had a major financial impact on our members and meant a substantial increase in their operational expenses, posing an unsustainable burden, particularly given the wholesale sector’s already thin profit margins. For some, this would have run into millions of pounds a year. It is great that government has listened to our concerns and is adopting an approach which reflects the market as it actually is. No foodservice consumer ever buys a 5kg tin of baked beans and that waste will never end up in a household bin. The new regulations recognise that, which is great news for wholesalers, customers and consumers.”

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Paul Hill is the Editor of Better Wholesaling. He can be found on Twitter at @BW_PaulHill, or contacted via and 07960935659.


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