Glass chiefs hit out at PRN system as exports rise

British Glass graphic

British Glass has hit out at the packaging recovery note (PRN) system and urged councils to recycle the material locally rather than exporting it.

The trade body published a graphic showing that more than 300,000 tonnes of waste glass was sent to Europe in 2022.


It said this export trade rose by 79,000 tonnes, or almost a third, last year alone.

The graphic claims that the material is sent abroad “because the PRN system incentivises the export of unprocessed waste glass”.

In a document accompanying the new poster, British Glass said exports were costing the manufacturing sector £8m in energy and carbon costs per annum.

“We urge local authorities to support the UK circular economy for glass and decarbonisation efforts by keeping glass recycling local,” said British Glass chief executive Dave Dalton.

“One of the great advantages of glass is its infinite recyclability without losing quality, which we should be taking advantage of within a closed loop as best we can.

“By doing so, we can make a positive impact on the environment and economy, and create more jobs in the UK glass industry.”