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Defra moves to increase aluminium recycling

Following the release of the quarter 2 recycling figures for 2015 there has been growing concern regarding the position of aluminium, as the figures indicate the UK is not on track to meet its statutory target for the recycling of aluminium packaging in 2015.

A combination of changes in protocols used historically to generate aluminium Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) and a new Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) protocol have seen a fall in accredited aluminium reprocessors and exporters, leading to an overall fall in tonnage.

Compliance schemes urged to help reprocessors

In light of this the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) released a position statement on Friday 21st August. They have urged all unaccredited reprocessors and exporters to become accredited and are encouraging compliance schemes to provide assistance to ensure they can secure their required PRN obligation.

ecosurety pre-empted this call to action and has been working for several weeks with unaccredited aluminium recyclers and operators handling IBA, assisting them through the accreditation process to generate PRNs for the UK market. With many years of experience dealing with Environment Agency applications and processes, ecosurety has been able to provide expert support through what could potentially be a complex and timely process.

Extended PRN issue period granted

DEFRA also stated that accredited operators can issue PRNs/PERNs from the date of application rather than the date the operator was actually approved. Any applicable operators must provide satisfactory evidence to take advantage of this - exactly how many additional PRNs/PERNs this will generate is unclear. 

What this means for producers 

DEFRA have reiterated their position that any non-compliance, by producer or compliance scheme, would result in the appropriate enforcement action being taken. Due to historic knowledge of the PRN market, ecosurety positioned itself appropriately with its recycling partners at the start of the year to ensure security of its required aluminium PRN obligation, mitigating any risk for our members. We will continue to monitor the aluminium position throughout the remainder of the year and will advise the final year outcome in 2016.

If you would like to know more about this issue, simply contact our team on 0845 094 2226 or email packaging@ecosurety.com.


Robbie Staniforth

Innovation and policy director

Robbie is innovation and policy director at Ecosurety. Having spent years building an intimate understanding of the industry’s policies and politics, he uses this knowledge to help shape new legislation and oversees Ecosurety’s growing portfolio of cross-industry innovation projects including Podback and the Flexible Plastic Fund. He has worked closely with Defra during the most recent packaging consultations, outlining the impacts and required transitional arrangements of the UK’s new EPR system and is a member of the government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP). He is also a spokesperson for the company and regularly uses his influence to communicate the importance of environmental responsibility to external stakeholders.


Written by Robbie Staniforth Published 24/08/2015 Topics Compliance

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