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Getting Started: Developing your reuse roadmap

Translating the complex policy landscape into a tangible action plan is not straightforward. If you’re under-resourced, overwhelmed by regulatory changes, and worried about reacting to new mandatory requirements with costly short-term fixes, where do you start?

This is the fourth article in the reuse + refill series and looks at how brands can take action today to protect themselves against changing regulatory requirements.

The full report, written by Root’s packaging experts, reveals the other four critical reuse issues brands need to have on their radar. Available to download today – go to: Getting to the Root of Reuse + Refill.

We understand there are no “silver bullets”, so how can you ensure you’re on top of the regulatory landscape, protect your investments from risk, and take action? We’ve outlined some simple steps for you to consider.

Step 1 - Keep up with policy

The landscape of reuse regulation is evolving fast. From offering solutions, to addressing the environmental impact, to on-pack labelling, it’s essential that your business receives support to navigate this dynamic global policy landscape.
While insights from trade bodies or suppliers can serve as a useful starting point, exercise caution as many reports are heavily biased and favour certain organisations, materials, and pack formats. Be selective and seek independent support when necessary.
Once you’ve identified the regulatory risks associated with your packaging portfolio across various markets and regions, you will gain clarity on where and when you need to take action.

Don’t worry about achieving perfection first time; nobody does. Just the act of crafting a plan is a powerful first step

Step 2 – Engage the business

Armed with the regulatory evidence you require for the leadership team or board, we hope you’ll secure the necessary support to invest and allocate initial budget and resources.

When timelines are clear and budgets are allocated, mobilise the support of a cross functional working group to contribute to your business case. Reach out to those who are natural sustainability ambassadors – individuals with foundational knowledge to build upon and a strong passion to drive progress within the business to create impact.

Step 3 - Create a roadmap

Don’t worry about achieving perfection first time; nobody does. Just the act of crafting a plan is a powerful first step. Ensure your roadmap includes:

– Market research
– Industry collaboration
– Pilot programmes
– Feedback loops for citizens, internal stakeholders, and solution providers
– Knowledge sharing across markets or regions

Step 4 - Get involved

Providing feedback during consultations at a local and regional level is crucial for regulators to understand your needs and consider them in the development of policies that will impact your business.

Policy development and opportunities can vary nationally and regionally. Responses to reuse in the proposed Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) have been extensive and are ongoing. Initial consultation responses from a diverse range of stakeholders exhibited variations. NGOs and governmental organisations praised reuse targets and advocated for faster roll out, while industry voices generally expressed support but called for restraint. Active participation during the consultation stage provides policymakers with insight into the unique challenges your business faces.

For businesses that prefer not to lobby but wish to have a say, participating in joint responses and group position papers can amplify your voice, lending credibility and a platform for businesses of all sizes. It is essential to ensure due diligence is conducted when participating in position papers to safeguard reputation and maintain accountability.