Industry bosses are reported to have used Downing Street crisis talks on soaring food prices to lobby the Government to delay its ‘extended producer responsibility’ scheme due to come into effect next year.

They argue it would drive up shopping bills further amid the cost of living crisis, saying it will cost at least £1.7bn a year, with most of the cost would be passed on to consumers through higher prices.

Under the plans food producers and retailers selling own-brand products will have to report packaging waste data and pay the full cost of packaging waste disposal.

It would apply to companies with turnover of £1m or more who would pay local councils to help fund green bin collections.

Karen Betts, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, said: ‘They should consider delaying the EPR to take that cost out of pricing while inflation remains very high.

‘It would seem to us to be a sensible thing to do.

‘We’re seeing the government rushing through legislation so they’re not accused of backsliding on environmental commitments.

‘But the result is you have a very muddled, confused scheme which we think won’t work.

‘Not only is it going to cost consumers more, but because it’s not ready it’s even worse.’

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