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Valpak pulls out of the Environment Exchange

By Greg Pitcher

Environment Exchange managing director Angus Macpherson has admitted Valpaks decision to sell its 40% stake in the trading site is a blow.

But he insisted the packaging waste compliance schemes withdrawal presented an opportunity to restructure and hinted at a potential share buyer.

Valpak last week sold back to Macpherson the shares it had owned in the online Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) trading floor since July 2003.

Steve Gough, Valpak chief executive, said: The Environment Exchange seemed like a very good investment at the time it opened up the market to us.

But we are diversifying and have lots of new projects coming up so we are focusing on things that deliver benefits directly to members.

The Environment Exchange was launched in 1998 to help producers of packaging waste meet their obligations under the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.

The UK has implemented this law by requiring obligated firms to buy PRNs from recyclers of the material.

The Environment Exchange provides a market place for schemes like Valpak to buy PRNs for its clients from recycling companies.

Macpherson said: Losing Valpaks shares is clearly a blow because Valpak is a major player in the PRN world.

But there are many positive aspects. This gives us a clear drawing board to expand our shareholdings. And I am delighted by Valpaks continued commitment to use the Environment Exchange as a trading forum.

We think there are benefits to having more buyers and will go back to those that we approached before. I want the Environment Exchange to get bigger and better.

Looking to the future, Macpherson said he was intent on fighting PRN fraud.

There is an increased duty of care on those involved with PRNs, he said. We want to do what we can to cover people for these issues.

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