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Industry tells Defra to change PRN system

Industry figures have called for changes to the Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system to divert more funding to local authorities improve the quality of household waste for recycling.

The suggestions came in response to a Defra consultation on packaging waste and batteries designed to “reduce red tape for business”.

A total of 53 responses were received to the consultation including Biffa, the Environmental Services Association and the British Plastics Federation.

The consultation, which ended on 22 May, sought evidence to help underpin a review of the waste plastic packaging target, and to consider what further actions could be taken to ensure that the household waste recycling target is met.

Defra’s summary of responses says: “Local authorities should be able to benefit from PRN revenue if they raise high-quality material for recycling. Councils can then potentially negotiate reduced costs with the waste industry.

“The domestic recycling industry could then be stimulated by limiting revenue to councilss from PRNs and not PERNs (exports).”

The department also published an impact assessment of the proposed changes, including a net present value of £26m.

The consultation sought to amend three Acts:

  • Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009
  • Producer Responsibility Obligation (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007
  • Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007

The regulations will now be laid before Parliament for implementation from 1 January 2016.

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