Recycling Market Commentary: 30 March 2018


OCC jumps by £10 per tonne, mixed paper up a touch in quiet market, while EA auditing companies over PRNs

With it being a long weekend for Easter, the market was pretty quiet this week, but that didn’t stop some price rises in the paper market. See below for more on that.


Interestingly, last week the Environment Agency, and the devolved agencies, wrote to all accredited operators for PRNs/PERNs to warn them of the importance of fulfilling sampling and inspection plan requirements.

This is in response to ensuring the ‘validity’ of evidence
following media publicity on the topic.

A sampling and inspection plan is a fundamental part of the conditions of being an accredited reprocessor or export, and so the agencies were warning that they will be reviewing whether this is being complied with.

The letter said operators must:

Accurately record the type and quantity of packaging waste received/exported/recycled

Through sampling and inspection, accurately identify what is target material verses non-target or contamination (i.e. identify what materials may have PRNs/PERNs claimed against them, and for exports identify if any materials are present which would prevent compliance with TFS requirements).

Ensure that PRN/PERNs are only claimed against UK packaging waste, and demonstrate that the material was packaging waste and from the UK.

Ensure that there is no double-counting of ‘evidence’.

To ensure compliance with this, the agencies are going to begin picking companies to audit, we undertand, from next week. This is a particular problem for small exporters that act as brokers effectively and may never see the material to inspect but have been issuing PERNs,

The agencies are also requiring compliance with TFS regulations as well as demonstrate the material has been received for reprocessing at the end destination overseas.

Any that fail the audit could lose their accreditation or have it suspended.


It was a quiet week in the market with many traders in UK and Europe taking time off for Easter. As a result, prices were unchanged.

However, these is a definite sense of a slow down in the non-China Asian market with a view that these destinations will be full up, if not in April, then in May.

See plastic pricing data at the bottom of the page here


With import quota licences issued to the mill groups in China, their buyers were released to take more material for April.

UK domestic mills were also taking more material pushing up their price to the low £70s. But the Chinese buyers were beating that to get material, with some transactions occuring above the £80 level.

However, demand from China remains weak with the quotas still restricted in terms of total volume and lower than previously.

Domestic and European mill groups were also happy to pay a little extra for mixed paper this week.

See paper pricing data at the bottom of the page here


Copper and steel prices dropped this week, with the former by £200 per tonne and the latter by £10 per tonne.

See metal pricing data at the bottom of the page here

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