Climate change and plastic waste are two of the biggest issues we face today. While consumers and businesses can all play a role in creating a more sustainable future, governments must play their part, too.

This page provides a breakdown of the biggest imminent changes to environmental legislation that your business must comply with.

EPR Reform

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) represents the largest set of environmental policy reforms of our time. The complexity and drawn-out implementation of these changes mean they are surrounded by uncertainty – get the key information you need below.

EPR Explained

EPR is an umbrella term that describes a global move towards more environmentally-friendly policies. The specifics of these changes vary from country to country, but generally, they mean the financial burden of dealing with end-of-life packaging waste shifts from consumers and local authorities onto producers.

EPR in the UK

The UK Government first introduced EPR in its 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy for England policy blueprint. After many delays, the new policies will be phased in throughout the UK starting in 2024. In simple terms, it will allow local authorities to recover waste disposal costs from the EPR Scheme Administrator, which will in turn recover those costs from producers.

EPR Implementation Timeline

From 2024, some companies will have to pay a waste management fee and buy packaging waste recycling notes (PRNs) or packaging waste export notes (PERN). They will also need to submit data about packaging and packaged goods they have supplied. This applies to any company that fulfils either of the below requirements; 


  • Has an annual turnover of more than £2m
  • Supplies at least 50 tonnes of packaging per year


Other companies will have to report on the volume of packaging placed onto the market annually but are exempt from the fee. This applies to companies who fulfil the following requirements; 


  • Have an annual turnover of more than £1m, but less than £2m
  • Supply at least 25 tonnes of packaging annually, but less than 50 tonnes


From 2025, modulated fees based on pack recyclability will come into force. These fees incentivise sustainable packaging design by making the fees for easily-recyclable, fibre-based packaging lower than non-recyclable alternatives. 


From 2026, all packaging except for plastic film and flexible packaging must include a ‘recycle’ or ‘do not recycle’ logo as part of the Recycle Now scheme. 


From 31 March 2026, compostable and biodegradable packaging must be labelled ‘do not recycle’. 


From 31 March 2027, all plastic films and flexible packaging must be labelled either ‘recycle’ or ‘do not recycle’. 

To learn more about what EPR means for packaging design and support your move away from multi-material solutions, read our blog for the latest EPR news.

UK Plastic Packaging Tax

The UK Plastic Packaging tax, effective since April 2022, is designed to create a more robust and environmentally-aware supply chain. Does your business comply?

What is The New Tax?

Since April 2022, any plastic packaging components that do not contain at least 30% recycled material are subject to a fine of £200 per metric tonne. This applies to all packaging produced in or imported into the UK, alongside transport or tertiary packaging used to export goods.

The tax will be paid by the person who produces the finished plastic packaging component or the importer of this finished component.

The Following Exemptions Apply

  • Non-chemically modified cellulose-based polymers
  • Plastic packaging manufactured or imported for use in the immediate packaging of a medicinal product
  • Transport packaging used on imported goods
  • Packaging used as aircraft, ship and rail stores
  • Components that are permanently designated or set aside for use other than a packaging use
  • There is also a deferral of liability to the tax for exported plastic packaging that meets the direct export condition

This tax can create significant challenges for brands and retailers, and Parkside is here to help!

Our paper packaging and recycled content flexible packaging portfolio are plastic tax compliant. Take a look for more information.

Market applications

Ambient Grocery

Fresh & Chilled




… And many more

To find out more about how Parkside’s future-proof solutions can help you comply with the legislation of today – and tomorrow - please contact us here.