The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) aims to improve compliance of aluminium reprocessors, following the number of aluminium packaging waste recovery notes (PRNs) issued in the UK that failed to meet statutory targets for 2015.
The latest data shows that the number of aluminium PRNs issued in the UK are not on track to meet the statutory business targets for the recycling of aluminium packaging in 2015.
In response, Defra has released a position statement on changes that will be made to operator accreditation for PRNs and packaging export recovery notes (PERN) for aluminium.
Defra – “Reprocessors and exporters across the country make a valuable contribution to our environment by recycling aluminium packaging, and we encourage all reprocessors to become accredited so that their good work can be recognised and count towards our recycling targets”
The Department is responding to specific circumstances that have arisen in the aluminium packaging market, including the changes made to the aluminium protocols at the start of the year and due to a significant amount of aluminium being recycled by unaccredited reprocessors and exporters.
This intervention seeks to increase the supply of evidence of aluminium packaging recycling by allowing operators accredited in 2015 to issue PRNs and PERNs from the date that their application for accreditation was received by the relevant agency rather than the date on which it was approved.
As the process of accreditation can take several months, this will boost the number of PRNs that reprocessors and exporters can issue, boosting our recycling rates, Defra says.
The environment agencies will provide active assistance to anyone considering submitting an application for accreditation and ensure that they are processed in a speedy fashion.
The Department says it remains confident in the long-term viability of operating a market-based approach to implementing the EU Packaging Directive which, historically, has enabled UK businesses to achieve compliance at a low cost when compared to many other Member States.
A Defra spokesperson said: “Reprocessors and exporters across the country make a valuable contribution to our environment by recycling aluminium packaging, and we encourage all reprocessors to become accredited so that their good work can be recognised and count towards our recycling targets.”
This course of action has been taken with an aim of ensuring that as much recycled aluminium packaging as possible counts towards recycling targets.