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Whatever your size or industry, if you’re a business, organisation or local authority in the north of England, The GBN is your one-stop-shop for all things environmental. More specifically, we’ve made it our mission to help you save money, stay compliant, go green and boost your reputation, all at the same time.

  • We make it simple for you to save money, by helping you to reduce your energy, water, paper and waste bills by up to 45%.
  • We make it simple to stay legal, by helping you comply with regulations and avoid hefty fines.
  • We make it simple to add value to your brand, by helping you gain accreditations.
  • We make it simple to meet your CSR targets, by improving your efficiency, shrinking your waste and helping you recycle.

If you do manage to find something we can’t help you with, we almost certainly know someone who can. So call in for a chat – the first hour is always free.

20 Years

Is your business legally compliant?

We’ll give you the answer, and the solution if it’s a ‘no’.

The Producer Responsibility Regulations (Packaging Waste) 2007 mean lots of businesses have clear legal obligations when it comes to their packaging waste.

You’ll need to take action if you meet these two criteria:

  • Turnover of £2m per year
  • Handle over 50 tonnes of packaging per year

Not sure what 50 tonnes looks like?

  • 5 pallets of packed goods per day
  • 1 articulated lorry load of goods per week

Want to learn more? Get in touch

Save money, protect the planet, safeguard your reputation…

Investors in the Environment (iiE) is a well-established national environmental accreditation and membership scheme that helps small and medium sized business in three ways. Firstly, it helps businesses save money by reducing their energy bills. Secondly, it helps them reduce the impact of their everyday work on the environment. Last but not least, it helps them build their brand and safeguard their reputation by earning official recognition for their environmental achievements. The scheme is operated here in the Yorkshire & Humber region by our friendly GBN team.

Want to learn more? Get in touch

What about other environmental questions?

We can help your business with pretty much any environmental question.

We offer support to

  • write and maintain your environmental management system
  • create and maintain your environmental Legal Register
  • work out your Carbon Footprint
  • achieve ISO14001 accreditation

We also offer advice on energy supply, waste disposal and environmental permitting and an independent audit service if you need it.

Our first hour is always free.

Get in touch

Pennine Pack

Pennine Pack

Extended Producer Responsibility

Extended Producer Responsibility has been pushed forward by the Government to ‘fix’ all obstacles to recycling packaging waste and coincidentally reduce Central Government funding towards the cost of collecting waste packaging from households across the UK. It is expected to cost around £2.7 billion in its first full year of operation.

We had a consultation in March – June this year and are still waiting for the results to be published. Talking by video link to the RWM trade show on 22 Sept, Chris Preston, the deputy director for resources and waste at Defra said that the department’s response to the consultations on these waste reforms will be published “later this year or early next” blaming Covid-19 for the delay. He also pointed out that the Environment Bill was also delayed and the latter was “absolutely core to underpinning our ability to deliver reforms”.

The timetable to implement the new regulations are ambitious and these delays make it increasingly unlikely that EPR will be up and running on-time in 2023.

https://www.letsrecycle.com/news/defra-could-publish-consultation-responses-next-year/

Energy Efficiency

With fuel shortages, a problem with our underwater link to European electricity and rising gas prices, I am beginning to feel that I am trapped in a historic reality TV show set in the 1970s. Fortunately my MacBook and Wifi are allowed!

I thought it might be helpful to have a quick dip into some energy saving guides that I keep for posterity and inspiration.

5 top tips to combat increasing energy prices:

  1. Make sure that you are on the best tariff – look for a website that helps you to switch. Here is a link for domestic tariffs but some have business energy websites too. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-households/switching-energy-tariff-or-supplier
  2. Install and use heating controls – We zone lighting so that we only have lights on where and when we want them on. Heating is just the same. Use thermostatic controls on radiators so that you can set the temperature in each room / area and use a timer to heat when you need it. If your set-up is simple you could control your heating from your phone and monitor energy usage via a smart meter as many of us do at home. For bigger business with Building Management Systems it is probably more important to make sure that it is optimised.
  3. Close doors and windows – It is simply a waste of money to heat a building while the doors and windows are open. In a previous life, our warehouse reduced energy loss by fitting an interlock that turned off the heating whenever the door was open – I wish I could remember the numbers but it was a significant proportion of energy.
  4. Insulate to save – Insulating the loft of a typical house can save about £150 per year. Just scale it up for bigger premises. Insulating the walls could add another £100 - £350 in energy savings.
  5. Make sure your boiler is operating efficiently – Servicing your boiler is a good idea and if you don’t have a condensing boiler, consider the upgrade to a new boiler (but the payback may be more than 5 years). The difference between an A rated and a G rated boiler is around £200 per year for a typical house.

And while there are queues for petrol, here are John’s top 5 tips to help improve fuel efficiency:

  1. Check your tyre pressures – Under inflated tyres drag and waste petrol. Over inflated tyres reduce your grip on the road.
  2. Remove excess weight from your vehicle. Remove all that junk that you do not need to carry with you everywhere.
  3. Reduce drag - Remove roof racks and roof boxes unless they are actually in use. They just create drag and waste petrol
  4. Take your time! – no seriously, roads around us in West Yorkshire are generally so busy that you are not going to pass the whole queue of cars, busses and trucks in front of you so just ease off a little, accelerate more gently and ease off the gas before you need to brake.
    But if the road does clear, for a 20-mile journey:
    @ 55mph estimated fuel consumption 50mpg and takes 22mins
    @ 70mph estimated fuel consumption 41mpg and takes 17 mins
    https://www.mpgforspeed.com
  5. Aircon… Aircon costs 1 – 2% on your fuel economy but if you have the windows open above 40mph the air turbulence may cost more. You could turn it off unless it is a really hot day!

Plastics Packaging Tax - Autumn 2021

 

Update 25 Oct 2021 - HMRC issue updated and simplified guidance on PPT. Please click here to go to the PPT FAQs.

The UK is set to introduce a new Plastics Packaging Tax from April 2022. In case you are new to this, the tax will be paid by manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging (including plastic packaging filled on importation) that contains less than 30% recycled plastic and will be set at a rate of £200 per tonne.To ensure the tax does not disproportionately impact small businesses, those that manufacture or import less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging each year will not need to register or pay the tax. All businesses above this threshold must register, including businesses who already include more than 30% recycled plastic in their packaging.

To support businesses, HMRC published ‘Get your business ready for the Plastic Packaging Tax’ guidance on GOV.UK, which provides an overview and further information on the tax. The ‘Further information for businesses’ part of the guidance has recently been updated to provide further detail on:

  • The types of plastic packaging subject to the tax, including single-use products, such as carrier bags, sandwich bags and disposable cups.
  • Who is liable for the tax and when it is charged, by clarifying what is considered ‘last substantial modification’.
  • Delay on the requirement to include a statement with your invoice that the tax has been paid. This was due to commence in April 2022.

HMRC has also produced two ‘decision tree’ documents to provide a step-by-step guide to help business determine if plastic packaging is in scope of the tax, and who is required to account and potentially pay the tax:

  1. PPT – scope decision tree
  2. PPT – liability to register decision tree

Want to get involved in Research for Plastic Packaging Tax?

5th Oct 2021 - HMRC are looking to meet with people working in organisations who will assess liability for the Plastic Packaging Tax with a need to register for tax services, file returns and make payments. This is to get insight and test the service journey.

If you or your organisation would like to participate in a research session, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a contact name and email address of a suitable person who they can speak with.

Once you have sent your contact details, over the next few weeks you may be contacted by HMRC research services team with further details on how to take part. The session will take no longer than 1 hour.

Plastics Packaging Tax – Update May 2021

The Government are pushing a new tax on plastic packaging that will come into force in April 2022, driven by HMRC that will apply a tax of £200/t on any plastic packaging that does not contain 30% recycled content. The intention of the tax is to encourage greater recycled content in plastics packaging.

Photo of plastic packaging

Think of it as a new form of VAT. If your business creates plastic packaging or your businesses imports plastics packaging your business will be obliged to register with HMRC and pay the tax if you can not demonstrate that it contains 30% recycled content. Your business will then pass this tax down the packaging chain via an extra line on invoices until it gets to the consumer.

There is an exemption for businesses that create or import less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging AND less than one tonne contains less than 30% recycled plastic.

If your business makes or imports plastic packaging you will need to keep records to show that you were below the threshold or to demonstrate the recycled content of that plastic packaging.

If you buy plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled content you can expect to start to see this new extra line for plastics packaging tax on your supplier invoices. You are expected to add this plastics packaging tax to your invoices when you sell the packaging on (whether it is empty or filled).

If your business will be exporting plastic packaging that was subject to the tax it will be possible to defer the tax, or claim a rebate.

There are 4 exemptions:

  • Plastic packaging that will be in contact with a medicinal product
  • Transit packaging around imported goods
  • Plastic packaging used for international journeys (unless it is released into the UK)
  • Plastic components that are not intended to be used as packaging (ie: the components will not be used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery or presentation of goods)

The guidance talks about components – the individual units that may be used – such as bottles, caps or labels and whether each component has 30% recycled content.

What counts as recycled plastic? – Recycled plastic is plastic that has previously been processed. It can include pre-consumer and post-consumer material that would otherwise have been waste. The definition is fairly open but you cannot use process waste from the same process in which it was generated as ‘recycled content’, so it looks like process waste, offcuts and trimming waste will not be eligible as recycled waste in your own processes. This is something to check once the legislation is passed.

The guidance is heavily reliant upon record keeping because it vis probably impossible to prove whether plastic actually contains 30% recycled content by ‘scientific terms’ (meaning that you cannot test for recycled content in the laboratory).

HMRC has two web pages that may be useful to you:

Is your business ready for plastics packaging tax? https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/get-your-business-ready-for-the-plastic-packaging-tax/get-your-business-ready-for-the-plastic-packaging-tax

Further information https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/get-your-business-ready-for-the-plastic-packaging-tax/further-information-for-businesses

PENNINE PACK AND INVESTORS IN THE ENVIRONMENT WIN TWO AWARDS AT THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT

The GBN, a Yorkshire micro-business, has been presented with two Green Apple Awards earlier today in recognition of their Environmental Best Practice at the Houses of Parliament in London.

Two of The GBN’s divisions were recognised within their individual fields at the Awards: Investors in the Environment won the Green Champion Award for environmental best practice in the service industries for their work with companies, assisting them to reduce their environmental impact by the implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS), with a real focus on practical implementation. Pennine Pack won a Bronze Award for best practice in the packaging and paper industries, helping companies to comply with packaging regulations whilst actively supporting the UK recycling industry.

Commenting on the awards, John Mooney, Director of The GBN said “We are thrilled to be recognised in areas where small businesses can often be overlooked. Collectively SME’s and micro-businesses can make a huge difference to our economy and supporting UK business is essential for the future” he added, “Investors in the Environment is brilliant for employee engagement and is extremely accessible for all businesses whatever their size or core business. Last year we helped our members to save the equivalent of just over 5,500t of CO2 emissions”.

Pennine-Pack’s Low Carbon Packaging Compliance Scheme, works across many different industry sectors helping companies to work beyond legal compliance, to reduce their carbon impact for waste and recycling, and it continues to be committed to supporting the UK recycling industry. Buying PRNs from Recyclers in the UK avoided emissions of just over 7,900t of CO2 because waste was recycled in the UK and not in China.

With regard to, Pennine Pack, John commented “We had the foresight in 2012 to see the inevitability of the recent changes in the waste recycling market. Therefore, last year, once China had made its position clear that it would no longer accept volume waste from other countries, our clients were already ahead of the curve using a domestic solution supporting the UK recycling industry.”

Want to reduce your plastics obligation?

We have been working with a couple of members to help them reduce their obligations and have put together some resources to help.

The resources include:

  • A covering note,
  • A Powerpoint presentation ‘What’s the problem with plastics’, an overview of the factors driving the current situation that you may want to use to brief your senior managers and
  • A Powerpoint presentation ‘Reducing plastic packaging’ with more than 20 case studies giving examples of what your business may be able to do to reduce plastics that you may want to use you’re your continuous improvement teams to guide a brainstorming session.

 

pack hack slide1 pack hack slide2

 

 

If you have any examples of initiatives that you have made to reduce plastics, or other packaging, please send us a short note, ideally with a picture so that we can add it to these resources.

To see the resources click here.

Packaging consultations 2019 & New EU Directives

The consultation feedback published was disappointing to say the least and generally summarised the responses and not the Government’s preferred positions. We have summarised over 400 pages of text to only 4 pages. We have tried to interpret the information provided with some speculation about what we think will happen. Please read the original documents to remove any ambiguity that our interpretation may create.

If you did not have the opportunity to contribute to the consultations, you may be pleased to know that the digital templates were not very user friendly and probably reduced the number of responses significantly.

 

Consultation on change to carrier bag tax (England only)

Although this consultation closed in February, there is still no feedback (29/7/19).

We expect the new rules to apply a 10p levy to all plastic single use carrier bags supplied in England, ending the exemption for smaller businesses.

In Scotland & Wales, it will remain 5p and apply to all plastic and paper single use carrier bags and some other materials. In Northern Ireland, the charge of 5p continues to apply to all carrier bags with a retail price below 20p.

Click here to go to the consultation web page.

 

Tax on plastic packaging (UK wide)

In March 2018, a consultation from HMRC looking at single use plastics received 162,000 responses. The consultation in February 2019 proposes to tax plastic packaging. This received only 436 responses, perhaps because it was not easy to complete.

In the UK we use over 2 million tonnes of plastic packaging per year. For most businesses, it is cheaper to use new plastic than to use recycled and most plastic waste currently becomes waste after it has been used only once.

The Government is looking to apply a tax on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content from April 2022. This will apply to all plastic packaging made in the UK or imported that does not contain at least 30% recycled content. The Government acknowledges that excluding filled plastic packaging could encourage larger businesses to take manufacturing outside the UK to avoid the tax and will consider changing this to include all imported plastic packaging.

As far as we can tell, the whole concept of ‘recycled content’ will be based on trust and suppliers will have to inform their customers of the recycled content in plastic packaging supplied. The proposals would allow ‘recycled content’ to include non-packaging plastics and plastics from outside the UK, along with process waste. Where the supplier is outside the UK it will be difficult to know whether there is any truth to declarations given. It is impossible to tell what recycled content is in most polymers after they have been blended. It is not clear whether companies will be able to self-certify their declarations or if they will have to have third party audits to corroborate the declarations.

The rate is proposed to be a fixed rate per tonne of plastic packaging. The current proposal is to apply the tax at point of production because this is close to the point where recycled content would be added as most manufacturers of plastics know whether the intended use is / is not packaging. It also proposes that the tax should be joint / several to discourage avoidance.

The consultation proposes that only the business that pays the tax should be allowed to reclaim it for exports. Where plastic packaging is exported by the manufacturer, this will be easy. Where the plastic is exported by another party there may be difficulties feeding that information back down the supply chain. This is silly; if the tax were to be passed down in a similar way to VAT, it would be transparent how much tax had been paid further down the supply chain.  

It is unclear whether there will be a de-minimus threshold to exclude small businesses or how transparency will be achieved so that businesses down the supply chain will know and be confident about the level of recycled content in packaging that they buy.

There is a huge potential for fraud in this legislation, particularly from material imported.

Click here to go to the consultation web page.

 

Consultation on the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme in the UK (England, Wales & NI)

In the UK we use about 14,000,000,000 plastic drinks bottles (that’s 14 billion!), 5,000,000,000 glass bottles and 9,000,000 cans each year.

The consultation in February 2019 received 1080 responses directly and 207,000 responses from Greenpeace and MCS campaigns.

Scotland is ahead of the rest of the UK and their proposals are for a deposit of 20p/container for all drinks containers between 50ml and 3 litres. It is likely that the rest of the UK will eventually adopt a very similar scheme otherwise there will be incentives for fraud.

Both the consultations for Scotland and the rest of the UK are proposing to crush all bottles returned to be recycled and not to be reused which is a fundamental missed opportunity to reduce environmental impact of our consumption

A majority of respondents were in favour of including Tetrapaks and foil pouches.

Containers for milk may be excluded from the scheme.

Two thirds of respondents felt that disposable single use cups should be included. Manufacturers and others in the trade objected to the inclusion of disposable single use cups because of the logistical challenges it would create.

Over two thirds of respondents favoured an ‘all-in’ approach. It is likely that the scheme will be an ‘all-in’ affair with drinks bottles up to 3 litres, to fall in line with Scottish proposals.

Click here to go to the consultation web page.

 

Consultation on reforming packaging producer responsibility (UK Wide)

This consultation was looking at options to reform packaging producer responsibility to include not only a subsidy to support the cost of recycling as we currently have but also to subsidise the cost of collecting and sorting domestic waste packaging. The consultation proposes that this will be on the basis of the full net cost.

There is more support for modulated fees (charging more for materials that are difficult to recycle) than other options. We may move from multiple points of compliance (manufacturer / convertor / pack&filler / seller) to a single point of compliance, perhaps with the brand owner. There is discussion about whether to reduce or remove the current de-minimus with a particular desire to make take-away and on-line businesses take part in the new system.

There was no consensus in this consultation about whether disposable cups should be dealt with here or as part of a Deposit Return Scheme.

There is much support for mandatory labelling about recycleability of packaging which may also be more effective if we have a ‘list of recyclable materials’ as part of the modulated fees proposal.

It is likely that recycling and recovery targets will continue to rise in the legislation with support for a ‘closed loop target’ for a proportion of all packaging materials to be returned to packaging applications, although the modulated fees proposal would also achieve the same thing.

The Government intends to proceed with another consultation in 2020, implementing a new regime in 2023. They are looking at option 1 (a model similar to the current model) or option 2 (a single not-for-profit scheme), or a hybrid of these two.

These will be enabled by the new Environment Bill that is currently doing the rounds.

Click here to go to the consultation web page.

 

Consultation on consistency in household recycling (England only)

This consultation was seeking to obtain feedback about setting minimum standards for waste and recycling collections in England. It included questions about identifying packaging that can / cannot be easily recycled, creating a list of easy / difficult to recycle materials that could be subject to tax or surcharges in the future. It also considered whether there should be standardisation of the colours of waste and recycling bins.

The consultation feedback is split into two parts – consumer / householders feedback and others. There were 1182 responses from householders and 531 responses from businesses and other organisations. 45% of the business and others were local authorities, 8% charities / social enterprises, 8% businesses, 7% business and trade associations, 5% manufacturers.

Over 95% agreed that local authorities should be required to collect a core set of materials for recycling. Over 90% felt that local authorities should be able to collect the core set of materials.

Over 90% of respondents felt that the list should include

  • Glass bottles and containers,
  • Paper and card,
  • Plastic bottles,
  • Plastic pots tubs and trays and
  • Aluminium / steel tins / cans

Over 60% of business respondents (84% for householders) also felt that food and drink cartons should be included.

Only 37% of business respondents (73% of householders) felt that plastic bags and film should be collected.

72% of business respondents (84% of householders) want to see weekly food waste collections.

I decided that almost nobody would still be reading so I stopped. If you really need the grim details, please click here to go to the consultation web page.

 

Single Use Plastics Directive

The EU Single Use Plastics Directive has been adopted.

  • New single-use plastic plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds will be banned by 2021.
  • OXO-degradable plastics are to be phased out (because they are designed to break down into micro plastics that marine life feed on)
  • Confusingly, plastic cups and takeaway containers will be allowed because they are not commonly found on beaches but targets will be set to significantly reduce their use / consumption.
  • Plastic drinks bottles up to 3 litres will only be allowed if the lid remains attached. And plastic bottles are to have at least 25% recycled content by 2025 and 30% by 2030.
  • Wet wipes (and other sanitary products), tobacco filters and plastic drinks cups are to be clearly marked reminding users about safe disposal and the dangers of littering.
  • Incentives to discourage dumping of plastic fishing gear are to be increased through extended producer responsibility schemes.

Member states shall ensure that 90% of single use plastics is collected to be recycled by 2029 through deposit schemes or extended producer responsibility schemes.

Consumers shall be made aware of and incentivised to act more responsibly to reduce litter from single use plastics.

 

single use plastics

 

These requirements are largely reflected in the consultations we reviewed above.

If you just can’t get enough of this, please follow this link to read more…

 

Market surveillance and compliance of products Regulations (EU) 2019/1020

This gem almost escaped… This regulation will require operators (like Amazon and ebay) to comply with EU directives including the packaging directive, WEEE directive and 17 others.

If you want to know more or think you may be affected, please follow this link.

PRN Market update August 2019

The spike in plastic PRNs generated a lot of interest with members in June when a new record was set for plastic PRNs at £450/t. We believe that this was caused by one buyer who had a deadline to meet at the end of June and once they had completed their contract, prices fell back to £200/t.

At the end of July, quarterly statistics were released. The figures were generally good but Plastic and Aluminium tonnages accepted to be recycled / exported are behind the level needed to assure the market that there will not be any problems with compliance in the second half of the year.

 

Plastic PRNs

In order to meet the current plastic targets, the UK needs to recycle between 265kt and 270kt/quarter. In Q1 we fell short of the target by 20kt – 25kt with less than 244kt being recycled. In Q2 we saw the highest figure recorded with almost 280kt. We thought this would be enough to stabilise the market but the aggregate still leaves us with just below half of the 2019 obligation recorded and the price has climbed from £300/t to £450/t at the beginning of August.

Our bold pricing in our Q3 invoice and prompt payment from the majority of our members has allowed us to buy / contract almost 80% of our annual obligation for plastic so we are in a good position for the rest of the year.

plastic prn spot prices

 

Aluminium PRNs

In order to meet the current aluminium targets, the UK needs to recycle between 27kt and 28kt/quarter. In Q1 we fell short of the target by 3kt – 4kt with less than 24kt being recycled. In Q2 we saw an improvement with just over 27kt which is OK for Q2 but leaves us with the Q1 deficit to address. The cost of aluminium PRNs has increased from below £200/t to over £300/t.

We have a much smaller obligation in aluminium than any other material so it is less of an issue for us and we have received over 80% of our annual obligation for aluminium so are in a good position for the rest of the year.

aluminium prns spot prices

 

 

Review of the PRN Market, June 2019.

In 2018 we were expecting turmoil in the packaging compliance market when China implemented its ’National Sword’ policy that restricts the import of waste materials. This has spilled into 2019 with uncertainty in most markets. Plastic PRNs have seen the most fluctuation. During 2018, our average cost for plastic PRNs in 2018 was £64.75, rising to around £150.00/t in Q1/2019, crossing £200.00/t during May peaking at £450/t (18th June) and dropping back to £250/t at the end of june.

Why do we have a problem?

Plastic PRNs have seen a difficult 18 months since China implemented its ‘National Sword’ policy to block the import of waste materials containing over 0.5% contamination.

0.5% contamination would be something like two A5 paper labels on a set of pallet wrap. To get below the 0.5% level, we would need to cut out both the paper labels, but at around 400g – 600g per pallet, you would have to cut out 4,000 A5 paper labels from one tonne of pallet wrap.

The Chinese Government wants to stimulate more recycling of plastic waste generated in China.

Prior to 2018, more than half of our plastic waste was exported to be recycled, most of it going to China. After the ban, waste material started to go to other countries in the Far East. By the end of 2018, many of these countries have banned the import of our waste and we are running out of places to send our rubbish to be recycled.

The PRN system is based on supply & demand; when there are plenty of PRNs, the price falls; if there is a shortage, the price will go up to encourage other recyclers to join in and make more PRNs available.

What is the problem?

In order to respond to the changing market we need to know how big the problem is. The next set of reliable data upon which we will be able to make reasonable judgements is likely to be released during the last week of July. If the numbers are sufficiently improved, prices will begin to return to more acceptable levels. If they have not improved, prices may continue to rise and we will review the situation again.

We want to assure you that we are working to achieve compliance at the best possible price for your company but we can not achieve this in isolation. While our turnover doubled last year, we beat the market in all materials bar one. Our plastic PRN cost in 2018 was £6.36 below the average market price (£64.75 Vs £71.11 T2E spot average).

This graph shows how quickly the price of plastic PRNs has gone up and is compared to the previous 4 years:

Plastic PRN Prices

Looking at recycling of plastic packaging :

  • The cost of Plastic PRNs is likely to account for half of all PRN costs this year, in spite of representing less than 15% of the number of PRNs needed.
  • There are 121 large plastics reprocessors & exporters registered this year (was 137 in 2018)
  • PRNs registered with the Environment Agency in Q1/2019 were 95% of the number registered in Q1/2018. This may have been aggravated by changes to the way the Environment Agency enforced rules at the start of Q1 but fluctuations of this size are not unusual.
  • In spite of the reduction in registered reprocessors and poor figures in Q1, Plastic PRNs traded by T2E during Jan – May were only 0.5% lower than Jan – May 2018 which is reassuring.
  • In Q1/2019 41% of our plastic packaging waste was recycled in the UK (in 2018, only 37% was recycled in the UK).

What does this mean in real terms?

Here is a simple cost model: For every 1000t of plastic that a business handles as ‘imported as an end user’ (you import and remove packaging), that company has to buy 810 PRNs (81% overall UK recycling & recovery target). This is made up of:

  • 550t plastic PRNs (55% plastic recycling target in 2019)
  • 64t recovery (up to 8% of 81%)
  • 196 ‘general’ (not material specific recycling. This is usually paper)

At our current estimated costs, if our average plastic PRNs cost is £350/t, this would give us a cost per 1,000t of plastic imported and unpacked of:

  • £192,500 = 550t plastic PRNS @ £350/t
  • £ 160 = 64t recovery PRNs @ £2.50/t
  • £ 3,920 = 196t paper PRNs @ £20/t
  • £196,580 / 1000t plastic imported.
  • £196.58/t

This is about 10p/0.5kg ‘palletwrap’ imported and unpacked

And for consistency, if you are using palletwrap in the UK to pack your products that are sold to someone who unpacks your products, the cost is about 8p/0.5kg ‘palletwrap’ pack/filled & sold.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything published here, please get in touch directly.

JM 17 June 2019

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