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New Guide Addresses PRN Transparency Concerns

The Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) has produced a guide to the UK’s packaging recovery note (PRN) system.

The PRN system is the mechanism used to implement the requirements of the European Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste 94/62/EC and is implemented through the Producer Responsibility Obligations (packaging waste) Regulations 1997. The PRN system in the UK is one of only two approaches to compliance that uses a tradeable permit mechanism to achieve mandatory packaging recycling targets.

The guide, which has been produced by the committee’s task force set up to consider opportunities for improving the transparency of the PRN system and revenue flows, is intended to provide an overview of the system, how it works and an analysis of where PRN funds are used. It gives comprehensive information on how the system operates and what it is designed to achieve.

The guide also includes information on:

  • Roles and Responsibilities of those involved in the system
  • Current targets for the weight of packaging waste that must be recycled
  • Case studies of collection and recycling projects that have been supported by PRN funds
  • Benefits and criticism of the system

Chair of the committee, Phil Conran, said of the guide: “It provides a wealth of information which I hope will be useful to a wide range of stakeholders from individual companies and trade associations to recycling companies and local authorities.

“It is part of our efforts to improve the transparency of the system and be more open about the funding and performance achieved. One of the most important sections contains a number of case studies illustrating how PRN funds have been positively used by reprocessors and exporters to increase collection and recycling.”

Chris Taylor, Clarity Environmental Commercial Manager added: “The UK PRN system is unusual and can be a difficult process to fully understand. It is not always clear where the revenue is being spent and the system is often criticised for its lack of transparency. This guide goes some way to address that by providing examples of work made possible as a result of PRN revenue and looks to be a really useful guide for anyone not totally familiar with the system. It is something we will certainly recommend to those members of our packaging compliance scheme that need to know more about the way it works.”

Clarity has been buying and selling packaging recovery notes (PRNs) since our business started in 2002. We are now one of the largest and most experienced open market traders of PRNs. To talk to our team about buying or selling any grade of packaging recovery note (PRN), contact us on 0845 129 7177.

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