Ecosurety joined experts and stakeholders from across the packaging waste industry to share views on the recent paper on the PRN system.
The paper ‘A discussion of the UK PRN PERN system for packaging waste and possible alternatives’ was commissioned by the Environmental Services Association (ESA), a trade association representing waste management and recycling firms, and it proposed future alternative systems to the UK’s current PRN system. Authored by Perchards and 360 Environmental, it takes a view on the PRN system past, present and future.
Whilst positives of the current system include simple recycling data output, simple transfer funds and low costs compared to EU equivalents, the negatives include the fact that it is unpredictable, there is no growth in value or revenue and it is essentially 'arm’s length producer responsibility'.
The discussion around the UK PRN system has come about following some years of criticism and industry debate. Some of the most prominent influencing factors include the following:
The paper prompts industry wide debate with the aim to meet future recycling targets, ensure the maximum amount of recycling takes place in the UK that is economically and environmentally viable, and to make sure overall costs of collection and recycling are minimised. The debate is across all sectors; schemes, waste collectors, recyclers, producers, local authorities, and other industry experts.
Before we get carried away with the enthusiasm of the industry to reflect on the merits and shortcomings of the existing system, these are very early days and regulatory change is a significant upheaval under current conditions.
On 17 November myself and Commercial Manager Robbie Staniforth met up with other industry experts to share our views and feedback on the proposals. We recognised through conversations with other industry representatives that the new investment platform created by Ecosurety, Circularety, addressed a number of the issues.
However, the group discussions focused on positives and negatives of the options proposed in the paper for longer term regulatory change. Consensus for significant change was limited, and the options furthest from the current setup gained minimal support during group discussions.
Ecosurety is continuing this discussion as part of our launch of Circularety in January 2017, as the here and now fix for the PRN system. We’ll be supporting the ESA and their stakeholders on the longer term solutions, promoting our views along with feedback from our members.
If you would like to join the debate, please contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or Robbie Staniforth email@example.com. To find out more about Circularety please visit www.circularety.com.
Mark manages the technical and regulatory development at Ecosurety, working closely with numerous policy makers, stakeholders and government departments. His valued contributions and experience have been well refined over the last decade of working within environmental compliance.
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