Defra appoints OPRL’s Managing Director as new Head for the EPR Scheme Administrator

We’re proud to announce that Margaret Bates, Managing Director at OPRL, will be serving as Defra’s new Head of Scheme Administrator to establish the new pEPR scheme.

The new UK pEPR scheme will move the cost of dealing with packaging waste away from the taxpayer and onto packaging producers, who will pay for the full cost of managing packaging waste from households. Through the fees they pay, producers will be incentivised to use less packaging, to use packaging that can be recycled, and to meet higher recycling targets.

In this new role, where she will be seconded for up to two years, Margaret will be responsible for the implementation and readiness of the Scheme Administrator – the cornerstone for the delivery of the pEPR scheme from 2025 – working with Defra and the Devolved Administration and across the whole collection and packaging value chain; bringing together talented individuals who are passionate about recycling and the environment.

We asked Margaret how she felt about this exciting opportunity and here’s what she had to say: “During my time at OPRL, engagement with representatives across the value chain has shown an evergrowing appetite for collaborative working and a focus on finding solutions. I look forward to building on this spirit of cooperation in the exciting new position of Head for the UK Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging Scheme Administrator.

This role is a huge opportunity to act as a catalyst for the whole industry to continue to create an effective pEPR, ensuring that the responsibility for dealing with packaging waste is moved fairly on to producers, while also protecting the environment. Most of all, I hope to listen, and channel my experience of the issues facing the many varied stakeholders, to deliver a scheme that works – within the agreed timescales, and with common purpose.”

OPRL, along with the rest of the sector, are all too aware of the importance of pEPR and we at OPRL are in a unique position having the whole value chain in our membership and Margaret will be able to take that expertise along with her extensive network and connections to this secondment.

The loaning of a key member of the OPRL team demonstrates our commitment to getting pEPR right and ensuring our members have clarity going forward.

We wish Margaret the absolute best in this new role, and we look forward to working with her as she develops the scheme administrator function at Defra.