Supermarket bills could be set to rise once again as retailers are forced to implement new recycling procedures.
New recycling law may see supermarkets such as Asda, Aldi, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Lidl passing the increased cost onto customers, with fears that it could raise households’ yearly food bill by £60.
The recycling law won’t be introduced immediately, but with the cost of living crisis, the spiraling cost of a shopping basket is on the minds of shoppers at the moment.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is the new recycling law?
From 2024, large retailers and supermarkets will be forced to pay to recycle every part of their packaging.
Ministers have referred to the plan as ‘Extender Producer Responsibility’ (EPR).
There are fears that new law, which is essentially a mandatory tax on recycling items, will lead to the cost being reflected in the price of items.
Experts have predicted that if all costs are passed onto the customer, the equivalent of 12 days worth of shopping could be added to the yearly bill.
When will the new law be introduced?
The law will come into force in 2024.
Although two years away, the lingering effects of the cost of living crisis could mean that shopping bills remain high, with this potential added charge raising these even further.
What has been said about the new recycling law?
Critics of the new law have argued that industry experts should have a say in how the policy is run.
Speaking to The Sun, Karen Betts, CEO of the Food and Drink Federation, warned about the rise in shopping bills, and encouraged lawmakers to think again about implementing this policy amid a cost-of-living crisis.
She said: “With households already hard-pressed, and low-income households living day by day to make ends meet, is this right?
“Efficient, effective, new recycling systems don’t need to cost this much, on top of what we all pay in Council Tax already.
“The effect of EPR and other recycling policies will be to force up prices.
“Despite the good intentions behind them, they are ill-thought out.”
She added: “The priority for the next Prime Minister will be to address soaring inflation and the cost of living.
“They must look at whether government’s own actions are, in fact, adding to inflation.”
In defence of the new tax, a spokesperson for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said: “We don’t recognise these figures. Taxpayers already pay to get rid of packaging waste through their council tax bills.
“Under EPR, the companies who put packaging on the market pay instead. If they use less packaging, or make it easier to recycle, it will cost them less too.”