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Corus moves forward with packaging recycling

The rise in steel packaging recycling will lead to lower packaging recovery note (PRN) prices for the next three years, a new Corus report has found.

In its new report, entitled, Moving forward in recycling, Corus highlights how it invested PRN funds in recycling schemes to help boost steel packaging rates to 69% in 2007. Investing in recycling schemes provides Corus with more steel packaging to use for steelmaking.

The report says that steel recycling success has resulted in lower PRN prices for users of steel for packaging. It states: Taking into account the recycling results for 2007 and the targets for 2008-2010, we anticipate low PRN prices for the next three years.

Corus predications are based on the supply and demand equilibrium. If there is a lack of PRN on the market the price goes up; if there are less it goes down.

Under UK Packaging Regulations packaging chain companies are obliged to purchase PRNs as evidence that their legal responsibility to recover and recycle quantified tonnages of packaging has been fulfilled. PRNs are sold by accredited recycling operators like Corus, either to an obligated company or to a compliance scheme acting on their behalf. The obligated company then has to show the Environment Agency that it has invested that money back into recycling.

Corus Steel packaging recycling manager David Williams told MRW: PRN prices are going to be stable in the future and not leap up in price because we are meeting our targets.
In the future we will see more and more volumes of steel packaging for recycling because of the growth in mechanical biological treatment plants and energy-from-waste plants. We anticipate a growth in volumes for steel because of these types of facilities.

Williams added that steel was easy to recycle because of a good infrastructure, being magnetic and easy to collect, compared to aluminium or plastic.

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs has set challenging targets to boost steel recycling to 68% for 2008, followed by a half percentage point rise for each year up to 2010.

But Corus aims to collect even more steel and further improve the steel recycling infrastructure. The company said the Netherlands had already achieved an 85-90% recycling rate.

Image: Corus steel bales

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