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Environment / 20 May 2022

BBPA responds to DEFRA consultation on Packaging Waste Recycling Note system

From 21 March – 21 May 2022 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has sought views on the current Packaging Waste Recycling Note (PRN) system.

A PRN is documented proof that packaging material has been recovered or recycled by an accredited recycling company.  Both brewers and pub companies have responsibilities under the legislation, but also as founders of not-for-profit SUSTAIN, a packaging waste compliance scheme for our members, the BBPA was uniquely placed to feed insights into DEFRA’s consultation.

The BBPA have raised concerns with Government previously on the functioning of the PRN ‘market’ Last year, this resulted in a huge spike in glass PRN prices, at an already extremely challenging time for the sector.

In its response, the BBPA calls for greater flexibility and transparency within the PRN scheme in order to reduce volatility in the market and welcome many of the proposed measures that could help achieve this.  The scheme also needs to ensure they is no double-payment be producers obligated under the forthcoming Deposit Return System.

 Emma McClarkin Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association said:

“The PRN scheme has so far played an important role in helping to achieve UK recycling targets but it remains fundamentally flawed.  It is vital that improvements are made to its operation to reduce volatility and increase transparency. 

“For example, extending the compliance period for the trading of PRNs and introducing a compliance fee for those unable to secure sufficient PRNs are both required, as is more regular and robust reporting by reprocessors.  It is also crucial that with the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme that producers do not also have additional obligations for those same materials under the PRN regime. As DEFRA continue to examine the scheme and make improvements, we look forward to working closely with them to ensure it is one that works for pubs and brewers.”

Read the full response

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