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Formal Review into PRN System Announced

9th March 2018

Gareth Roberts

Today (9 March 2018) it has been announced that there will be a review into the Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system in the UK. The review is to be carried out by the National Audit Office on behalf of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC)

The reasoning behind this review is due to concerns raised by the EAC that there is opacity in the system and therefore, risk that it is vulnerable to fraud and non-compliance. Additionally, this could mean little justification as to the degree that the system has achieved objectives; an area the review will assess.

Furthermore, the effectiveness of the PRN system will be reviewed in terms of determining where PRN income is being spent as this is another area lacking clarity, why there are few or no incentives for packaging producers to utilise sustainable packaging materials instead of those that are commonly known to be harmful to the environment, and the concern over how waste exports are actually treated once overseas will be addressed.

Mary Creagh, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said:

"Packaging waste is contributing to the ever-growing levels of plastic pollution in the UK and abroad. Packaging Recovery Notes are intended to make companies do their bit for recycling, but there is significant concern that PRNs are distorting the market in favour of exports rather than reprocessing in the UK. The NAO review will give my Committee an insight into the effectiveness of the PRN system, enabling us to assess whether the Government is taking the right action to ensure high levels of recycling in the UK."

Comply Direct support such a review and hope it will help achieve both short-term and long-term solutions for changing the PRN system so that it is better equipped for the current and future challenges.

As always, we will endeavour to provide regular and relevant updates regarding this review on the news section of our website. 

If you are a member of Comply Direct and you have any questions regarding this please do not hesitate to get in touch by emailing packaging@complydirect.com or call 01756 794 951