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14 January 2022

BPIF responds to the Northern Ireland consultation on the reduction of SUP

BPIF responds to the Northern Ireland consultation on the reduction of SUP

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland has been holding a consultation on proposals for the reduction of the usage of Single-use Plastic (SUP) beverage cups and food containers in Northern Ireland (NI). The BPIF has responded on behalf of the printing industry.

DAERA's consultation document is available to download below - further supporting documents can be found on the DAERA consultation portal using the web link below.

The consultation was designed collaboratively with WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) to consider a number of policy options on the most effective way to ensure a substantial reduction in the use of SUP beverage cups and food containers.

The Department aims to encourage a more sustainable environment and circular economy for everyone across NI and the reduction in usage of all SUP beverage cups and food containers will help to contribute to these targets.

The Department has been seeking views on the suggested policy options to ensure the most effective method of reducing the consumption of SUP beverage cups and food containers is identified. The responses to the consultation will be used to determine the best policy options to help to promote the reduction in SUP items.

The goal of the policy is to reduce the use of the targeted types of SUP packaging and to encourage the wider take up of multi-use (MU) and/or single-use non-plastic (SUNP) alternatives.

Policy Options
The primary objective of the proposals is to influence customer behaviour to promote a significant reduction in usage of SUP beverage cups and food containers. The Department worked with WRAP to consider a range of proposals and identify the most effective options for a sustained and substantial reduction in the use of SUP beverage cups and food containers. These options are summarised below and the consultation seeks your views on these proposals. Three policies are modelled for both SUP beverage cups and food containers:

  • A ban on their use
  • A levy of 25p on each cup and 50p on each food container
  • A voluntary scheme or schemes implemented by businesses that make use of SUP cups or food containers, which may comprise a range of charges for cups/food containers, discounts for MU cups/food containers and communication efforts. This is modelled as having the same effect as a 10p levy for a beverage cup and 25p for a food container.

Whilst acknowledging the desire to reduce waste and the use of SUPs the BPIF has promoted the improving environmental credentials of the printing and printed packaging industry. However, the BPIF has expressed concerns regarding the impact on businesses that are already under pressure from extra charges associated with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT).

Backed by numerous referenced industry, environmental and economic reports and research studies; the BPIF has also raised concerns over hygiene, health liability and the possibility of future extensions of the proposals to impact upon metal, glass paper and paperboard.

Do you want to work with the BPIF to help provide an industry-wide network and platform that will work to support, sustain and develop the industry?  Then take a look at The Environmental Forum, this BPIF community is a network for likeminded people in the industry to discuss environmental topics with an aim to set environmental and sustainability standards and best practice for the sector.

DAERA Consultation document for the Reduction of SUPs - Size: 1.9Mb Download
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For more information please contact:
Kyle Jardine
Kyle Jardine
0289 002 0135