The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is developing a digital tool to support the operation of the scheme to encourage the recycling of packaging materials.
The Local Authority Payments (LAP) tool will be used by councils’ representatives to manage payments under the Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging scheme (eEPR).
The scheme involves companies and organisations paying a fee to local authorities for packaging such as cardboard boxes that they put on to the market. The money is then granted to councils that collect and recycle the packaging after it has been discarded by households.
The tool will notify their representatives of upcoming eEPR payments, help them to understand how they have been calculated and query any they may think are inaccurate.
Alpha to beta
According to the Defra Digital team, the tool has gone through its alpha stage with input from local authorities and an assessment to ensure it is easy to use.
It is now being prepared for the private beta phase, scheduled for spring of next year, with around 50 councils, which will provide further feedback and identify any bugs. The development team is aiming to have the tool fully live with all councils signed up to use it by November 2024.
It has invited local authorities to register an interest to participate in the private beta.