The recycling group at the British Plastics Federation (BPF) has written to Environment Minister Richard Benyon asking for reform of the PRN system to level the playing field for domestic recyclers.
It has argued in its letter that with Asian markets continuing to weaken and less able to absorb our waste, there is a real danger that 2012 plastic recycling will be missed.
With very challenging targets stretching into the future, is expects that PRN and PERN prices will rise adding costs to the supply chain. In addition, it is concerned that PERNs will be used as a mechanism to subsidise exports to a point where such waste materials become competitive on world markets.
BPF recycling group chairman Roger Baynham said: “There is no doubt that the current system works in favour of waste exporters to the disadvantage of the UK recycler. Not only that but our members are worried that high PRN/PERN values will incentivise unscrupulous players to pass off unobligated packaging as packaging waste, so the current system would become in effect a cheaters charter.
“The quality of raw materials available to our members is of absolutely paramount importance. Increased PERN values will only serve to incentivise contamination, drive down quality and undermine the good work already done.
“The current inequality between PRNs and PERNs will seriously jeopardise the implementation of best practice in plastics recycling, weaken the efficiency of UK plastic recycling plants and provide a serious disincentive for future investment in UK recycling.”