Protocol review sees boost for paper PRNs

There has recently been pressure on paper PRNs due to low volumes of recovery PRNs being generated as a result of new accreditation requirements (read more here).

However there have been some welcoming changes that should now see more paper PRNs being generated.

Household mixed paper

When mixed paper is collected from UK households, typically there is always a degree of packaging contained within, such as cereal boxes or small cardboard items. To ensure that these packaging items were not missed under the PRN system, it was previously agreed by Defra that 12.5% of mixed paper collected from households could count as packaging material, allowing PRNs to be generated for that proportion.

Protocol revision

However, following trials and analysis of mixed paper collections at a material recycling facility (MRF), Defra is now near to agreeing a new protocol percentage of 23%. This could just be an interim change as further trials on mixed paper collections and MRFs are due.

The change has been received positively by the paper sector who feel the move realigns changes in paper packaging and consumer buying habits that have happened over the last decade with mixed paper collections.

Paper PRN impact

Reviewing the most recent four quarters of mixed paper recycling volumes, this increase in the protocol should add an extra 130,000 paper PRNs into the market. Whilst this only represents around 5% of the overall UK paper target, it will make a welcome injection of tonnage which should ease pressure on the recovery shortfall (which was around 250,000 tonnes down in 2015), for which paper PRNs were used to plug the difference.

James Piper

Managing director

James joined in July 2009 as the marketing account manager. Now managing director, James combines his past market experience and the work undertaken directly with companies to ensure all Ecosurety members benefit from the best possible price and expertise. In 2016 James won the Institute of Directors South West Young Director of the Year award and the Business Leader Rising Star Award.  In 2017 he has been shortlisted for an edie Sustainability Leader Awardwon Business Green Leaders Award and featured in the Resource magazine annual top 100 list of the most influential people working in the waste industry.

Written by James Piper Published 29/01/2016 Topics Compliance

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