A new manifesto has been launched by the British Plastics Federation Recycling Group (BPFRG) calling for the PRN/PERN system to favour recycling in the UK and European markets.
In the manifesto, the BPFRG suggests there should be a split of the plastic packaging recycling targets to distinguish recycling in the UK and EU markets from that which is exported outside of Europe.
It wants this to be achieved through the existing PRN/PERN mechanism, so that there is a progressive weighting towards increased local recycling year on year, and to meet the proximity principle of the circular economy.
In the document, the BPFRG stresses it is not against exports outside of Europe, but argues that there would be greater value-add for the UK to recycle waste plastic materials inside the UK economy and then to export a much higher value, high-quality recycled polymer pellet directly to European and overseas manufacturing industries.
The BPFRG also proposes a PRN offset to drive investment in recycling and to enable UK manufacturing to increase recycled polymer usage.
Producers, manufacturers, packer/fillers, and retailers would be able to offset their PRN obligation by using and specifying recycled polymers. This way, recycled polymers would not carry any obligation under the EU packaging directive.
BPFRG chairman Roger Baynham said: “The proposals contained in this manifesto are designed not only to provide a route map to deliver the best environmental outcomes from plastic waste, but also to create new low carbon manufacturing jobs in the vanguard of the circular economy.
“The BPFRG believes the future proofing of markets for waste can only be achieved by ensuring that traction exists to encourage investment in recycling infrastructure and innovation to develop new markets and applications for recycled plastics.”