Legislation update – Autumn 2016

8th December 2016 Posted by

The Autumn 2016 legislation update is the first update post Brexit. We look at a number of key pieces of legislation, government and industry news, and what it means for our customers.

Cutting paper cup waste

The Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG) have launched the ‘Paper Cup Manifesto’.

This voluntary, industry-wide initiative aims to increase recovery and recycling of paper cups significantly by 2020. It has more than 30 signatories, representing each stage of the paper cup supply chain. Meanwhile, Starbucks is conducting a trial of fully recyclable coffee cups.

These initiatives follow the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) statement that it had no plans to introduce regulation aimed at recycling more disposable paper cups.

Food waste in England

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) has launched an inquiry into the economic, social and environmental impact of food waste in England. It focuses on consumers, retail and hospitality, and the local government. The manufacturing and agriculture sectors are outside the scope of the inquiry.

In particular, the Committee will ask how far voluntary initiatives can further reduce food waste, or if legislation is required.

Food labelling

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has pledged to review date-marking guidance on food labels, alongside Defra and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).


A lack of guidance around date labelling and the safe handling of food is posing a significant problem to food redistribution efforts. It is preventing the full potential of such programmes being reached. The new guidance is expected to be published by July 2017.

Ecolabelling for computers, furniture and footwear

The European Commission has adopted a new set of ecological criteria for computers, furniture and footwear. To be eligible for the EU Ecolabel, manufacturers must comply with strict requirements that benefit the environment, through the product’s performance and cover product safety and social aspects.
•During the design and manufacturing process, computer manufacturers must consider energy efficiency and upgradeability. In addition, take into account the simplicity of dismantling, recovering and recycling resources from their devices.
•Furniture manufacturers must conduct comprehensive lifecycle assessments and focus on the product’s contributions to indoor air pollution.

The criteria revision is valid for six years following its date of adoption.

New R1 formula for energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities

Annex II of the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC contains a list of waste-related activities that are either classed as ‘Recovery’ (R) or as ‘Disposal’ (D).

According to a set calculation formula for EfW facilities, ‘Recovery’ (R1) status was dependent on the energy efficiency factor exceeding a value of R1 = 0.65, if permitted after 31 December 2008.

In January 2016 the UK Government consulted on, and agreed with, a proposal by the European Commission to incorporate a climate correction factor (CCF) into the R1 formula. That took into account climatic variations across the EU. Legislating for this change, The Waste (Meaning of Recovery) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016 No. 738) came into force in England on 3 August 2016.

Separate but parallel legislation was passed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Each quarter, the Source legislation update compiles a round-up of emerging policy and legislation, from the UK and EU, which could have an impact on recycling and waste management practices.

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