What are PRNs?
PRNs (packaging recovery Notes) are the evidence required by producers of packaging waste to comply with the Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2005 in the UK. PRNs are issued by accredited reprocessors and act as an incentive to recycle and as a means for businesses to offset the amount of packaging that they place into the UK market. Packaging producers and handlers are obligated to purchase a number of PRNs every year based on the type of their business and the amount of packaging they handle. This is referred to as the businesses PRN obligation.
In order to comply a business must calculate their PRN obligation (packaging obligation) for the current compliance year in each specific material. There are six materials for which a business might have an obligation, plastic, paper, glass, aluminium, steel and wood. PRNs are material specific and businesses need only purchase PRNs to cover material that they have performed activity on.
The PRN market is an open market allowing PRNs to be traded between accredited reprocessors and obligated companies that have a packaging obligation. Trading of PRN’s for the current compliance year can take place between 1st December the previous year and 31st January the following year allowing registered companies to both buy and sell PRNS during this period. As with any open market the cost of compliance will vary throughout the year driven by the fluctuating price of PRNs.
Who is Obligated to buy PRNs?
A company or group of companies become obligated when they met both of the following criteria in the previous calendar year:
- Handled over 50 tonnes of packaging and supplied to UK markets.
- Had a turnover in excess of £2 million in their last audited accounts.
Companies meeting both of these thresholds in the previous calendar year must register with their relevant UK authority (EA, SEPA, NIEA) and provide relevant packaging data.
Who is responsible and for how much?
The proportion of costs of recycling to which an obligated company is responsible (how many PRNs they need to buy) is determined by the activity they have carried out on that material. There are four main activities in the packaging chain, each of which takes responsibility for a percentage of the packaging totalling 100% responsibility.
|Raw Material||Manufacturer of the raw material||6%|
|Converter||Turns the raw material into packaging||9%|
|Packer / Filler||Places goods into or fills packaging||37%|
|Seller||Supplies packing on to the end user||48%|
While only historic prices are available on the public site, Members can access current prices.
|2015 PRN Prices||Last||Average||High||Low||Volume
|Glass Other PRN||£11.00||£15.11||£20.00||£4.95||91,010|
|Glass Remelt PRN||£11.00||£17.11||£27.50||£4.95||148,382|