PRNs are the shorthand term for a kind of currency in recycling – packaging waste recovery notes. They provide the evidence that businesses need to prove they have met the producer responsibility requirements of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulations.

In short, businesses in the packaging chain large enough to be covered by the regulations have to account for a certain amount of recycling and ‘recovery’ of packaging waste – the latter primarily through incineration with energy recovery.

PRN definition – packaging waste recovery note.


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The businesses who are covered by the regulations are known as obligated businesses and they meet their obligation by acquiring evidence of recycling and recovery in the form of PRNs, from accredited reprocessors who sell PRNs. Most often, the obligated businesses acquire the evidence by joining compliance schemes who buy PRNs on their behalf but they can ‘go it alone’ and become a direct registrant. The price indicators shown below are an indication of market rates but are not guaranteed. PRNs can also be issued on export material (often known as a PERN). For clarity we use the term PRN to cover both domestic and export markets.

PRN prices – £ and pence per PRN/one tonne of material

2020 £ per tonneJanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune
Glass (remelt)16 - 1918 - 23----
Glass (aggregate)15 - 1817 - 21----
Paper7 - 98 - 10----
Aluminium75 - 290150 - 230----
Steel18 - 2218 - 22----
Plastics240 - 300275 - 350----
Recovery.60 - 1.60 - 1----
Wood7 - 108 - 11----
2020 £ per tonneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember
Glass (remelt)------
Glass (aggregate)------