Environment Bill Policy Statement – Food and Drink sector highlights and an update on Plastic Packaging Tax - PKF Francis Clark
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Environment Bill Policy Statement – Food and Drink sector highlights and an update on Plastic Packaging Tax

Earlier this week Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), HM Treasury and The Rt. Hon Michael Gove MP published an update on various matters being consulted on/considered in the drafting of the hotly anticipated Environment Bill.

Aspects covered in announcement

Below is a summary of what was stated and where I can see a potential impact on our clients, specifically those engaged in the food and drink sector:

Area Statement made (extract from)
Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers The Bill will introduce powers that will enable a deposit return scheme to be implemented in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2023. Likely to be ‘all in’ given Mr Gove’s pronouncement of last week – see blog
Consistency in household and business recycling The government will legislate to introduce a core set of consistent recyclable materials (including food waste) to be collected from all households and businesses, supporting frequent and comprehensive rubbish and recycling collections. It will also require manufacturers to put clearer labelling on packaging so consumers know what they can recycle
Extended producer responsibility (EPR) New powers to enact EPR schemes that will ensure producers pay the full costs of managing the disposal of their products will be sought, as well as powers to enable government to set resource efficient product requirements

Other aspects covered in the statement included:

  • Biodiversity net gain – A mandatory approach to biodiversity net gain will be introduced in the Bill that will legally require developers to ensure habitats for wildlife are enhanced, with a 10% increase in habitat for wildlife compared with the pre-development baseline
  • Conservation covenants – The government plans to legislate on conservation covenants, a voluntary agreement between a landowner and others (for example, a conservation charity) to help guarantee positive local conservation for the long term
  • Improving our management of water in the environment – The Bill will introduce powers to direct water companies to work together to address [identified] issues, such as transferring supplies between catchments during drought conditions, and instructing them to have robust plans in place to maintain supplies.

More details on Environment Bill Statement

More details and links to related consultations etc. can be found at GOV.UK news story and the Environment Bill summer policy statement.

In the latter of those two linked pages, I read that, “The Environment Bill will be introduced in the second Parliamentary Session”.

Update on Plastic Packing Tax

Also this week, HM Treasury published the responses to the consultation on Plastic Packaging Tax and announced, “The government will set out the next steps at Budget 2019. HMRC will publish a technical consultation on the detail of the tax design at a later date, and publish draft legislation for consultation in 2020.”  More details can be found here.

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