by Ewan Turney
Pubcos may be forced to fork out an extra £55,000 in recycling fees from the start of next year under new Government packaging waste regulation proposals.
Since 1997, companies with a turnover of more than £2m and that use 50 tonnes of packaging a year have had to pay a recycling levy proportionate to the amount of waste they produce.
Previously the regulations have only applied to managed operators because each pub in a tenanted estate has been classed as its own legal entity and therefore fallen under the limits.
However, new proposals would mean that tenanted pubcos would also be liable to pay up for their entire estate.
Logistic solutions company Exel believes that larger pubcos could face an 'unexpected bill of between £30,000 and £55,000 an eightfold increase on present waste bills.
The consultation on the proposals ended last week and they could come into force on 1 Jan-uary 2006.
'My gut feeling is that the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) intends to go ahead with this, said Exel datastore service packaging general manager Paul James.
He said the Government aims to encourage more businesses to recycle, and various efforts are being made to recycle glass and involve responsible firms who could make an impact.
'There are two ways it might work for tenants, he added. 'Either the pubco will hold its hands up and say 'it's our responsibility' or some may seek to charge their tenants.
The British Beer & Pub Association slammed the proposals as 'anti-competitive and said it would cost the industry £850,000 in administration and collection costs alone. Director of brewing David Long said the regulations would result in a 'disproportionate cost to the sector and minimal impact on UK packaging waste targets.