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Boost for paper PRNs in 2017 agreed

A second protocol change is set to boost paper PRNs further and help the UK reach its recycling targets.

At the start of 2016, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) announced an agreement with the Environment Agency Advisory Committee on Packaging, and the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) that 23% of mixed paper could be recycled as packaging material. This was a huge increase from the 12.5% set in the original Packaging Waste Regulations in 1997.

This adjustment followed an analysis project carried out by material recycling facilities on the amount of mixed paper being used for packaging, which revealed that due to changes in social behaviours such as online shopping, more paper is now being used.

At the original threshold, paper reprocessors were only able to issue one PRN for every eight tonnes of mixed paper handled. The change from 12.5% to 23% of mixed papers resulted in a surplus of paper and recovery PRNs in Q1 this year – 370,434 and 20,208 tonnes respectively.

Increased target for 2017

Since the revised 2016 limit, the CPI and the Recycling Association members have continued to analyse the amount of mixed paper from over 1,500 tonnes of packaging and found that the average packaging content was 34.5% - forming a new target for next year.

The newly announced target of 34.5% is set to be in place in January 2017, and will continue to add ‘tonnes of additional evidence and effectively increase UK recycling performance’. According to the CPI, this potentially means seeing an increase of around 290,000 tonnes. This is likely to reduce the price of paper PRNs for producers next year and will help to stabilise the market.

If you would like discuss the impact of these figures on your packaging compliance obligations, simply contact our team of specialists on 0845 094 2228 or email info@ecosurety.com.

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