Resource Association welcomes higher packaging targets but calls for PRN system reform


New trade body the Resource Association has said it supports the Government’s proposed higher packaging targets, but has expressed concern about the operation of the PRN/PERN system.

It is calling for reform of the PERN system to encourage greater investment in UK reprocessing by reducing the built in advantage the system generates for the export of recovered mixed plastics.


The Resource Association also welcomed the split target approach to glass to focus attention on remelt applications, but suggested that the Government should go beyond a cap for issuing of PRNs for glass tonnage diverted to aggregates by phasing out PRNs for aggregates by 2017.

Resource Association chief executive Ray Georgeson said: “We welcome high recycling targets as set out by the Government, and while these are challenging in some instances they should be achievable.

“Addressing the imbalances created by the PERN system however remains an important outstanding issue. The Government could take the opportunity to send a strong investment signal to UK reprocessors, especially in plastics, by lowering the PERN value for exported mixed plastics to 60 per cent of the weight of mixed plastics exported.

“This would help deliver a level playing field for UK reprocessors, who can only issue a PRN for the weight of reprocessed material they actually produce, which because of the often contaminated nature of the material can be as low as 50 per cent of the incoming feedstock.”

“If the Government is serious about supporting the emerging UK green economy, this is a strong and simple measure that could be taken in the Budget. A level playing field is all that UK reprocessors ask for, and this will send a strong signal that will boost investment in UK reprocessing, creating green jobs in our economy and utilising valuable resources closer to home.”

Why not attend the Achieving High Quality and High Value Recycling conference and networking event on 21 March at Warwick Racecourse? Find out more here