No PRN compliance fee before 2020, says ACP

The UK Government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) has stated that some form of packaging compliance fee could be introduced in 2020 following an emergency meeting last week to discuss the rapid escalation in Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) prices for plastic packaging.

PRNs are purchased by UK packaging producers, either themselves or through a compliance scheme, to prove they have met their recycling obligations.

Following the ACP’s meeting held last Wednesday (19 June) in the face of spiralling PRN prices, the ACP, an expert committee set up to advise the government on packaging policy, stated that regulatory change was needed to prevent ‘excessive volatility’ in PRN prices going forward.

The committee recommended that the government give ‘strong consideration’ to ‘a mechanism that should restrict excessive pricing whilst still enabling the markets to work as intended and which will also provide a compliance option should future years see target shortfalls’. This means that in the event that producers cannot purchase enough PRNs, they can make a financial contribution based on how far behind their recycling obligations they fall, rather than be found to be non-compliant.