Packaging producers and experts have urged more disclosure on how reprocessors use the funding they receive through the Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system.
The issue of PRN transparency was raised by Nick Brown, associate director for recycling at Coca-Cola Enterprises, at an event on packaging at the RWM Exhibition 2013.
Brown said producers put significant amounts of money into the PRN system but had little access to information on how the funding was used.
Angus Macpherson, managing director at the Environment Exchange (t2e), said that there was already an obligation for reprocessors to declare to the Environment Agency how they were spending those money, but it remained “a secret between themselves and the Agency”, although it was declared on a collective basis in the National Packaging Waste Database.
He said that greater transparency and more auditing of PRN data by the EA would be beneficial for the industry.
Ken Mulholland, environment and sustainability manager at catering supplier Brakes, said that more transparency was needed also to avoid possible market distortions. He suggested that reprocessors became obligated to reprocess only a set amount of materials.
“Reprocessors should have an obligation to reprocess certain quantities and not perhaps manipulate the market that is in fact what could happen,” he said.