Defra appoints former CIWM president as Head of EPR scheme

The UK Government has appointed Dr Margaret Bates, Managing Director of On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL), as the Head of the UK Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging (EPR) scheme.

Dr Bates, who served as the CIWM (Chartered Institution of Wastes Management) President from October 2016 to October 2017, will take up the role on secondment for up to two years. She is a Chartered Waste Manager, an International Wastes Manager, and a Chartered Environmentalist.

In her new role, Dr Bates will be responsible for the implementation and readiness of the EPR Scheme. She will collaborate with Defra (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the Devolved Administration, and the entire collection and packaging value chain.

Commenting on her appointment, Dr Margaret Bates said: “During my time at OPRL, engagement with representatives across the value chain has shown an ever-growing appetite for collaborative working and a focus on finding solutions. I look forward to building on this spirit of co-operation in the exciting new position of Head for the UK EPR for packaging scheme.

“This role is a huge opportunity to act as a catalyst for the whole industry to continue to create an effective EPR, ensuring that the responsibility for dealing with packaging waste is moved fairly on to producers while 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.”

Dr Bates has been the Managing Director of OPRL since 2020 and has a PhD in landfill microbiology. Previously, she was a Professor of Sustainable Waste Management at the University of Northampton.

Commenting on the appointment, Lee Marshall, Policy and External Affairs Director, CIWM, said: “CIWM congratulate Dr Margaret Bates on her appointment as Head of the EPR scheme. Margaret brings a unique breadth of experience from the resources and waste, packing and academic sectors that the scheme administrator will benefit greatly from.

“The fact that Margaret is a former President of the Institution will no doubt have been a factor in her appointment, and we look forward to working with her again in this new role as we move to a world beyond waste.”

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