Trading in packaging waste recovery notes (PRNs) for 2013 finished at the end of January. It appears that all schemes and most of the directly registered companies have closed out their compliance successfully for the year, subject to agency audit. Around 30 companies do not appear to have closed out compliance for last year, but whether this is just an administrative oversight or something more serious it is not yet known. The appropriate action will presumably be taken by the environmental agencies over the next few months.
The Environment Agency has also recently published provisional quarter 4 reprocessing figures for 2013. The final data is not due to be released until the end of March, but it appears to show that enough reprocessing was achieved to ensure UK businesses complied with the Packaging Waste Regulations for 2013.
The amount of glass reprocessed in quarter 4 increased significantly, especially for re-melt applications, which meant demand for PRNs was satisfied. This growth in reprocessing and the expected reduction in glass targets for 2014, which resulted from the recent glass consultation held in response to the GlassFlow report (which Valpak helped to instigate), has led to a drop in the forward price of glass PRNs as demand should be reduced. Hopefully this should lead to glass prices eventually falling back to a more sustainable level.
Plastic reprocessing volumes also remained high and this allowed a relatively high volume of ‘carry over’ tonnage to be brought into 2014. This should help to make the higher 2014 plastic recycling targets more achievable, although it is still expected to be a difficult task to achieve without continuing investment in the system.
There were slight falls in reprocessing in quarter 4 for the metals and wood; however, there still appears to be sufficient PRNs available to comfortably meet the targets in 2013. It is not expected that there will be shortages, even though targets for both aluminium and steel has increased, and there is some uncertainty in the world scrap metal market currently.
The quarter 4 information can be found on the Environment Agency website: npwd.environment-agency.gov.uk