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Tobacco: Litter

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL389, tabled on 24 October 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the tobacco industry operating in the UK is covered by the EU Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste and its subsequent revisions; and what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of that Directive on addressing smoking-related litter.

Answered on

5 November 2019

Tobacco packaging is covered by the current producer responsibility regulations, which require companies to recycle a proportion of the packaging waste they place on the market. They will also be subject to the forthcoming extended producer responsibility scheme for packaging which will cover the full net costs of managing packaging at its end of life, including litter, expected to be introduced in 2023.

In the Resources and Waste Strategy, we committed to looking into and consulting on extended producer responsibility for five new waste-streams by 2025, and consulting on two of these by 2022. We have currently identified our five priority waste-streams as: textiles, fishing gear, certain products in construction and demolition, bulky waste, and vehicle tyres. This list is not fixed and does not exclude the potential to review and consult on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for other waste streams if these are identified as being of equal or higher priority.

The EU’s Single-Use Plastics Directive includes measures to implement an EPR scheme for tobacco products with filters, and filters marketed for use in combination with tobacco products, which should cover the costs of awareness raising, data gathering and litter clean-up of these products.

It is the Government’s ambition to use the opportunity of leaving the EU to refresh and renew our environmental policy. An assessment of the legislative work required to transpose the Single-Use Plastics Directive is currently being undertaken.