Environment minister Michael Meacher has given his support to a pledge by key compliance scheme members to take a stand against abuse of the PRN/PERN system.

In a meeting with the Compliance Scheme Working Group (CoSwig) over the future of recovery and recycling targets, Mr Meacher was told that the issuing of fraudulent PRNs is undermining the UK’s ability to invest in development needed to meet its targets.

CoSwig coordinator Richard Barnish said it was not known exactly who the perpetrators are or the extent of the problem but suspicions have been raised by the speed in which reported recycling has increased.

Reported levels of wood and plastics recycling, in particular, show a marked increase unsubstantiated by the amount of recycled materials on the market, says CoSwig.

Members of the group – which represents the largest share of PRN buyers in the UK – have agreed that they will not trade with any reprocessor found by the Environment Agency, SEPA or the EHS to be issuing fraudulent PRNs and PERNs.