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Glass recycling targets and PRNs

Business Development Director, Georgina Cullen considers how a reduction in glass packaging recycling targets is impacting on PRNs.

Last month DEFRA announced that it would reduce the glass packaging recycling target from 81% to 75%, with the new lower target effective for the 2014 reporting period.

While the new target will rise 1% per year until 2016, the intention is to freeze it at 77%.

Part of the reforms see the split between applications amended, with re-melt increased to 65% in 2014 and to 67% in 2017 from the current 63% targets. We would have welcomed an even greater differential in favour of re-melt.

The UK has detailed regulations for the recycling and recovery of business packaging. Part of these regulations mean that any business which handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year (with a £2 million or more turnover) has an obligation to produce PRNs to prove recycling and recovery obligations are being met.

However, when targets are difficult to achieve, PRN prices can become inflated – which is exactly what has happened with glass PRNS in recent months. This has made it expensive for UK plc to use recycled glass. By reducing the target DEFRA is aiming to make it easier for organisations to be compliant while putting a lid on inflated PRN prices.
We are already seeing a reduction in glass PRN costs. Ultimately we are expecting costs to reduce from £60 for re-melt and £40 for aggregate reducing to around £30 per tonne.

At Casepak, we’ll assess your packaging obligations and put in place an appropriate course of action to ensure your business complies with legislation. We will calculate how many PRNs you need and purchase them on your behalf. Regardless of the changes, you’re in safe hands.