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PRN Quarterly Data released for Q1

The first quarterly data release of 2023 shows strong production and steady recovery across the grades for the 2023 compliance year thus far.

Compared with Q1 data of 2022, we are ahead of where we were this time last year for all grades apart from Glass Other which sits a similar place as last year. With the 2023 annual obligation figures due to be released later this month, the below figures give an indication of each grades progress however, they do not give the full context around where we are in regard to targets.

Paper and board

There was a huge boost in the data for Paper and Board for Q1 of 2023 with 1,030,110t reprocessed in 2023 so far, this was a 147,000t increase from what was reported in the voluntary monthly data releases. There has been a 17% increase in the quarterly production in comparison with 2022 Q1 data release, leaving Paper and Board 117,000t ahead of target for 2023.

Glass re-melt and Glass Other

In Q1 of the 2023 compliance year, there has been 346,000t of Glass Re-melt PRNs produced. This is a 56,000t boost to what was being reported in the voluntary monthly data releases and a 12% increase from where Glass Remelt sat following the Q1 data release in 2022.

For Glass Other, the increase in production was low, achieving a 16,000t boost with 118,000t of Glass Other PRNs produced this quarter. This is a 0% increase to where Glass Other sat at this time last year, leaving Other sitting behind target and although the boost in Re-melt helped, Glass overall remains behind target.


Aluminium had been on the rise with 40,500t of Aluminium PRNs produced in Q1 of 2023, receiving a 7,000t boost from the quarterly mandatory data reporting. This is a 14% increase from where Alu was sat at the Q1 data release of 2022. With Aluminium sitting 3,300T over target, it could be that we see the PRN price impacted, however with few suppliers, things are close enough that we could still consider Aluminium at risk of falling behind.


Steel is often one to watch in the quarterly data releases as this grade usually receives a large boost and this year was no different with almost a 43,000t boost in the data bringing 2023 Steel PRN production to 104,000t. This boost brings Steel 13,500t over target and in a strong position for the year ahead. There has been a 53% increase in production compared to the previous year’s Q1, pricing is expected to remain steady.


Plastic received a 50,000t boost from the mandatory quarterly reporting however, due to some weak performances at the start of the year Plastic sits at 280,000t of PRNs produced so far, this is 18,000t behind target for 2023. Despite being behind target, Plastic production has increased by 5% compared to 2022 Q1 data. With the possibility of a reduced UK packaging obligation, receiving the obligation later this month will provide more insight into the availability of Plastic and where its performance sits according to the updated target.


The boost in the quarterly data was huge for Wood, almost doubling production rates (86,500t boost) with 180,000t of Wood PRNs produced in Q1 of 2023. As well as a large boost in the data, Wood has had consistent strong performances this year. Wood is currently sitting 86,000t ahead of target, indicating the price of Wood PRNs will steady in the coming months.

With Glass and Plastic behind target, we expect prices to remain where they are currently however, following the release of the 2023 official obligation we will have more of an idea of where these grades sit.

Ed Ewence

Assistant Commercial Director at Clarity Environmental

Ed Ewence, Assistant Commercial Director, Clarity Environmental commented:

“The boost in data across the grades is a step in the right direction to achieving a more reliable and steady PRN market for 2023. Paper in particular has recovered well, showing that there has been large amounts of PRN tonnage previously missing from the voluntary monthly data reported in the early part of this year. Due to the boost Paper and Wood received following the Q1 data, at current these grades are comfortably covering the General Recycling obligation which should have positive impacts on price.

With Glass and Plastic behind target, we expect prices to remain where they are currently however, following the release of the 2023 official obligation we will have more of an idea of where these grades sit. We are using the 2022 obligation figures in the interim, the updated obligation should give more of an indication regarding price.”

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