There will be no criminal proceedings following the government investigation into allegations of the inappropriate issuing of PRNs/ PERNs, environment minister Elliot Morely has confirmed.
The UK environment agencies-led fact-finding exercise has so far focused on wood packaging waste. While wood reprocessors have not been found guilty of operations that warrant criminal proceedings, Mr Morley noted that the amount of wood packaging waste recycling in 2002 had been overstated.
As a result, the provisional figures for wood packaging recycling for 2002 published this May will be reduced by 76 400 tonnes. This will have an effect on the overall UK recovery and recycling figures.
“We want to ensure that the UK’s data is credible and that the PRN/PERN system and the UK’s ability to meet Directive targets is not undermined”
A fact-finding mission into the plastics reprocessing sector has yet to take place. But it is expected that plastics recycling figures will have to be similarly adjusted.
Eliot Morley said: “We want to ensure that the UK’s data is credible and that the PRN/PERN system and the UK’s ability to meet Directive targets is not undermined. However, we believe we should now draw a line under 2002 activity. There are no implications for any producer’s or scheme’s compliance as a result of this adjustment to the figures.
He added: “The agencies are aware of where weaknesses lie and I would expect them to focus on the areas where weaknesses have been identified and to take firm action, where needed, to improve the current system now and in the future.”