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Strong quarterly recycling figures show hope for plastic and metals PRNs

New data has been released by the Environment Agency on the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD).

The new data shows that the Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system is on track to meet quarterly requirements with significant surpluses in plastic and steel. Aluminium targets should also be met comfortably when carry over of PRNs from 2015 is taken into account. Overall the outlook for these materials for 2016 is promising. 

However, sustained low prices in the glass remelt market have led to a small but noticeable shortfall. ecosurety recognised that this issue could occur when the Q4 2015 recycling figures were released and acted to mitigate impacts. Whilst the figures are not terrible, we would expect to see an upward pressure on the glass price over the next few months. Should this remain a problem when the next set of figures are released, we may see the return of glass PRN price volatility, which Defra’s consultation looked to address following issues in 2013. 

Lower Prices?

“Market perception and expectation of future performance are very important within the PRN industry. These figures show that sustained high prices drive more recycling and in turn the market self-corrects. We hope these surpluses will lead to lower prices for producers in the remainder of the year. At the same time we will be monitoring the glass markets and ensuring we do our best to protect glass members from increases throughout 2016,” commented Robbie Staniforth, commercial manager

As the total 2016 UK PRN obligation is unknown until next month, the figures below are based on 2015 activities with 2016 targets.  

2016 PRN targets

The ‘recovery’ market, almost recovered 

The figures above are good news for all markets, including recovery which had looked like it was due to be woefully off-track when the provisional data was published, just two weeks ago. Although recovery, alongside the general figures are in deficit, these can be fulfilled by using the excess in the paper markets. Moving throughout 2016 we would expect to see the paper protocol increase the levels of recycling, and for this situation only to improve. 

If you would like to discuss your packaging compliance needs please contact our team of specialists on 0845 094 2228 or email info@ecosurety.com.


Richard Hodges

Key account manager

As key account manager Richard helps our largest clients manage their legal obligations under Packaging, WEEE and Batteries legislation. His background in economics helps our members manage their budgets and strategically procure evidence.


Written by Richard Hodges Published 22/04/2016 Topics Compliance

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