Packaging Recovery Notes

What are Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs)?

Every year the UK generates millions of tonnes of packaging waste, some of which is either collected to be recycled in the UK or exported overseas to be recycled to the same standards.

The UK Packaging Waste regulations state that companies who handled (manufacture, convert, pack, fill or sell) over 50 tonnes of packaging material in the previous financial year and have a turnover of more than £2m have an obligation to help fund the recycling of it to ensure that the UK reaches increasing recycling targets. These targets are split between packaging material types, aluminium, glass, paper, plastic, steel and wood. These companies are known as ‘obligated producers’.

Obligated producers are required by law to register, calculate their obligation and buy Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) to prove an equivalent tonnage of their packaging has been recycled.

PRNs must be issued by an accredited recycler or exporter of waste, who is rewarded 1 PRN for every tonne of packaging waste they process or export for reprocessing.

How do you buy and sell PRNs?

That’s where t2e come in.

We provide a transparent marketplace for PRNs, linking obligated producers with accredited recyclers and exporters through our secure online trading platform.

The platform allows buyers and sellers to trade PRNs quickly, safely and securely. It offers the most direct route to market, with live PRN prices and historical trading data, giving the ability to benchmark performance against the wider market.

Who is obligated to buy PRNs?

When a company, or group of companies, meet both of the following criteria in the previous calendar year they must buy PRNs:

  1. Handled over 50 tonnes of packaging and supplied to UK markets

  2. Had a turnover in excess of £2m in their last audited accounts

How is the obligation calculated?

To calculate your obligation you will need to know for the previous calendar year:

  • the packaging activities that you carried out;

  • the material, subdivided into aluminium, glass, paper, plastic, steel, wood and other (wax, cork, textiles, etc), and weight in tonnes of the packaging on which you carried out these activities;

  • the UK business targets for the current compliance year (e.g. the year subsequent to the packaging data you are gathering)

Charities do not have an obligation under the regulations.

Who is responsible and for how much?

The number of PRNs the company needs to buy depends on the activity they’ve carried out on the material they qualify for. There are four identified activities in the packaging chain:

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 to the end user 48%

For more information on how to calculate your obligation, please see our FAQ section

2023 PRN prices Last Average High Low Volume (tonnes) 
Aluminium PRN  £10.00 £141.67 £215.00 £4.45 31,608
Glass other PRN £105.00 £107.23 £135.00 £85.00 114,341
Glass Remelt PRN £115.00 £123.08 £142.00 £105.00 172,177
Paper PRN £4.95 £13.21 £45.00 £1.90 663,068
Plastic PRN £150.50 £276.08 £380.00 £115.00 358,881
Steel PRN £8.00 £30.72 £110.00 £4.95 113,525
Wood PRN £10.00 £13.56 £35.00 £2.00 179,966
        Total 1,633,566

PRN prices

The PRN Prices table summarises the price of PRNs in 2020. There is more information relating to specific markets and materials in View Price Data and View Price Graphs below.

While only historic prices are available on the public site, Members can access current prices.

Join over 400 other members now and experience complete control over the PRN process:

Complete price transparency

Enabling you to benchmark the true cost of PRNs, track market trends and review performance.

Swift and accurate settlement

Saving you time and effort on administration and processing.

Comprehensive market intelligence

Giving you access to live PRN prices and recent trades. Enabling you to react quickly and confidently to market fluctuations.

Dedicated account management

Supporting you through every stage of the process and keeping you proactively up-to-date with the latest market information.

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