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Testing Times Continue for the PRN Market

The August monthly packaging waste data, which was released earlier this month, shows positive performance across all grades, with all but aluminium and plastic remaining on track to meet annual targets.

Despite the latest data showing encouraging performance for both plastic and aluminium PRNs in response to the high PRN prices this year, reducing the gap between the amount produced and the remainder needed to achieve target, both grades still lag behind where they need to be, and as a result prices remain high.

Plastic currently sits at 65.15 per cent of its net target. And while the last two months have reported very positive figures, we’d like to see it comfortably beyond the 66.6% it needs to be at this time of the year. Plastic will need a far stronger performance for the market to feel fully confident and for prices to soften noticeably.

Likewise, aluminium production was positive in July and August, but concerns remain over the ability of aluminium to hit its target, keeping prices at the higher end.

Steel is a different story. Although currently ahead of target at 67.6 per cent, steel has experienced a significant drop in performance of production in both July and August, resulting in higher prices. Concerns remain over the steel market, driven by the uncertain future of British Steel and Brexit.

Wood continues to respond well to its increased target and now stands at over 89 per cent of its net obligation. It looks likely that wood will meet its target by the end of this quarter, and may even substantially contribute to towards the General Recycling target.

Paper sits just behind wood at a little over 85 per cent of its net obligation. And thanks to a very positive performance from glass remelt, at over 69% per cent, total glass looks comfortable against its target.

Martin Trigg-Knight, Clarity Environmental Packaging Compliance Manager, commented on the market: “It remains the case that many materials continue to make positive progress towards the annual targets, with paper and wood in particular looking likely to hit target well before the end of the year.

“Whilst aluminium and plastic have had two positive months of production, the pressure remains on these materials, as concerns continue over whether they will meet their targets. As a result, prices remain high. And with steel performance dropping off in the last two months, this material will certainly be one to watch in the final two quarters of the year.

“We continue to work alongside our PRN trading team, and together with our packaging compliance members, to navigate them through the market and help to manage the cost of compliance.”

To talk to a member of our team about our Comply with Clarity packaging compliance scheme, get in touch on 0845 129 7177 or visit our website for more information.

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