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A Year of Ups and Downs: A Volatile 2015 for PRNS

24th March 2016

In a year that saw plastic and aluminium PRN (Packaging Recovery Notes) prices eclipse £70 per tonne and steel prices approaching if not exceeding £50 per tonne, 2015 could be described as one of the most volatile years in the past decade. 

A number of factors affected the UK’s recycling costs in 2015 including: changes to the protocols regarding accreditation for aluminium and energy from waste sites (see previous issue), the slowdown of the Chinese economy, and the closure of steel plants in the UK. All of these led to significant shortages in the majority of materials’ PRNs as demand outweighed supply, causing tense periods for producers across the country.

Two initiatives are to be implemented in order to help alleviate high recycling costs: changes to the registration protocols and changes to recycling targets as a result of the recent consultation, information on which can be found in the article below.

Overall, all involved parties are hoping for a smoother 2016 but given the nature of the free market, predictions are merely predictions.