ECO Plastics backs changes to PERN system


UK plastics recycler ECO Plastics has welcomed the change made to the PERN system.

The Government last week announced a change in the regulations, that it believes will create a level playing field for domestic recyclers compared to exporters.


Under the regulation, exporters will not be able to claim a PERN against contamination in a load, and must provide evidence of contamination levels.

ECO Plastics founder and deputy chairman Jonathan Short said: “We are pleased that the Environment Agency (EA) has decided to take the bull by the horns and revise the outdated PERN regime, which disadvantaged domestic recycling plants by unintentionally rewarding exporters.

“There is still a lot more work to be done. We need a firm export policy and a clearer, more balanced system that encourages more processing here in the UK, and an unambiguous percentage target for what the EA deems an acceptable level of contamination. Exporters should be required to follow the same stringent audit trails as the domestic reprocessing industry to clearly demonstrate the quality of every load placed in a container.

“We would welcome the opportunity to work with the EA to develop these regulations.”

Support for the regulations also came from the Resource Association, of which Jonathan Short is chairman.

Chief executive Ray Georgeson said: “The Resource Association warmly welcomes the new PERN guidelines and the clarification in relation to contamination.

“For some time, we and colleagues involved in domestic reprocessing have called for a level playing field on this issue and we are delighted to have this response from Government.

“Key to the implementation of this guidance will be enforcement, alongside renewed vigour in the policing of TFS regulations, including clarity from regulators for all in the recyclate supply chain around the enforcement of TFS. With good enforcement, this will rectify the inconsistency that has penalised UK reprocessors and will act as encouragement for further investment and employment in the UK.”