David Fitzsimons was invited to join the second in a series of three Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) meetings in Edinburgh on 26 June organised by Zero Waste Scotland. Since publishing “Making Things Last” in February 2016, the Scottish Government has been investigating the viability of a single, coordinated, extended producer responsibility scheme. Beverage producers interpreted this as a possible deposit refund scheme for the various containers they use to deliver their products. To prevent this long running debate from frustrating progress on other products, a separate meeting was arranged for 27 June also at the Carbon Innovation Centre in Edinburgh.

Mattresses is one of the target products in Scotland that could be added to the existing UK-wide EPR system for packaging materials, WEEE, batteries and vehicles. Our product stewardship work with the National and European Bed industry over the past three years has developed into a mandate from member companies of the National Bed Federation to approach the Scottish and Welsh Governments. The industry wishes to set more ambitious recycling targets and is keen to cooperate with policy makers. We have developed outline proposals for an EPR system based on segmentation by buyers and product types. The proposals are unique and could be trialled in Scotland or Wales. They are based on a review of systems in France, USA and proposals in Italy and Belgium. However, we conclude that it is the power of private sector procurement that has been overlooked, and our outline proposals are based on inspirational work undertaken by Whitbread plc.

We introduced these ideas in Edinburgh and look forward to developing them further in the next few months. Our client, NBF, is keen to place its member companies at the leading edge of innovation for the circular economy and sustainable product design. And Oakdene Hollins is delighted to provide advice in implementing these goals.

Want to know more? Contact: david.fitzsimons@oakdenehollins.com