Soaring PRN prices highlight importance of national reform

According to half-year data published by the Environment Agency in August, the UK continues to report impressive aluminium packaging recycling volumes.

Indeed, more than 72,319 tonnes were collected for recycled in the period January-June. Over 70% (50,361) came through kerbside and HWRCs, while 20,313 came through incinerator bottom ash (IBA) recovery and 1,375 via other routes.

Despite a slight year-on-year decrease in volumes for the first half of 2022, annual predictions remain positive, with the UK tracing ahead of its annual business recycling target (69%) and once again on course to surpass its current obligated business tonnage (141,415).

However, while the data overall looks very positive, this isn’t reflected by increasingly volatile PRN prices. Indeed, with current values exceeding £200 per tonne, the market is hugely unreflective of high national capture rates.

Tom Giddings, executive director of Alupro, commented: “To date in 2022, aluminium packaging recycling volumes are – once again – looking healthy. A slight decrease in volumes was expected and, in part, can be accounted to the time lag in data reporting interacting with COVID-induced changes to recycling amounts and market size.

“Even so, the numbers look positive and we remain firmly on track to hit current obligated business tonnage targets. What’s more, with high producer demand for infinitely recyclable aluminium packaging, the aluminium packaging market continues to expand rapidly – yet more positive news.

“PRN prices, however, are unreflective of this scenario. A key reason behind inflated values is a lack of data, which stems from a number of leading producers having failed to submit their obligated tonnages by the regulatory deadline in April. Some producers have still not submitted their packaging data returns, close to six months past the deadline. In addition, evidence is not making itself available to market fast enough, which is resulting in an artificially inflated price. We are confident that enough material is being recycled to meet the 2022 targets, but concerned at the rate at which PRNs are being released to the open market.

“Healthy recycling rates in the coming quarter will hopefully work to resolve this challenging situation, with PRN supply to the market set to increase and prices predicted to return to a more sensible level. Even so, it’s important to remember that this isn’t an isolated incident. Time and time again, the industry is challenged by artificial pricing.

“These market pressures reinforce the mandate for PRN market reform and the introduction of a more robust approach in the future. We therefore eagerly await the government’s long overdue reform proposals and hope it will prove the catalyst to a better designed system.

“It is also now clear that, alongside the proposed PRN reforms, a review of accurate data enforcement measures is needed to encourage timely submissions from producers. The current £110 late resubmission fee is simply insufficient, and in need of significant change if we are to have increased transparency under the PRN system in the future.

“As we move into Q3 and Q4, the priority is simple. With more and more aluminium packaging entering the marketplace and being consumed both at home and on-the-go, we need to ensure that material that can be recycled is recycled. Ideally, this will work to counterbalance the current volatility of PRN pricing.”

To access the latest packaging waste collection and recycling data, visit



Alupro’s executive director presented with national accolade

Tom Giddings, executive director of Alupro, has been named in the ‘35 under 35’ list for 2022. Aiming to shine a spotlight on the sector’s rising stars, the list profiles the leaders of tomorrow and celebrates their incredible journeys within the waste and resources industry.

Tom was recognised by the judges for his ground-breaking work in delivering positive change for the aluminium packaging recycling sector. A true champion of the circular economy, Tom is committed to building a sustainable, resource-efficient future for the UK’s packaging supply chain.

Acting as the independent voice of the industry on issues of government policy and legislative development, Tom always wants to drive the sustainable packaging debate. Whether working in collaboration with stakeholders to inform upcoming legislation, or providing insight and guidance to help further improve national collection infrastructure, he is widely-regarded as an influential figurehead.

Passionate about progress, growth and positive change, Tom is dedicated to taking the waste and resources industry forward.

Tom commented: “Being named in the ’35 under 35’ list for 2022 is a real honour. While my role as executive director of Alupro sees me represent one of the most dynamic industries in the UK, being recognised by my peers as a true leader in the sector is really humbling.

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to the other 34 leaders named in this year’s list – all of whom have pushed boundaries and helped to take the waste and resources industry forward.”


For more information about this year’s ‘35 under 35’, visit

Alupro to exhibit at RWM & letsrecycle live

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, is set to attend this year’s RWM & letsrecycle live exhibition. The team will be located at Stand R-G244 throughout the two-day event, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham between 14-15 September.

A collaboration between two of the industry’s largest trade exhibitions, the event will bring together 200 expert speakers, 550 exhibitors and tens of thousands of visitors. Alongside CPD-accredited sessions and live demonstrations from some of the largest names across the globe, there will also be a whole host of networking opportunities.

On day two of the event (15 September), Martin Hyde, Alupro’s sustainability and public affairs manager, will chair a panel on ‘Metal Recycling Then and Now’. The expert session will comprise three presentations and a Q&A session with key figures from across the metal industry, including Robert Fell, director and chief executive at MPMA; Nicola Jones, manager at TATA steel; and Mike Dines, director at Tandom Metallurgical.

Tom Giddings, executive director at Alupro, commented: “Combining two of the recycling and waste industry’s biggest trade events in one sector-defining show, RWM & letsrecyclelive will provide an unmatched platform to engage with key figures from across the aluminium packaging supply chain, as well as wider industry audiences.

Through Martin’s panel, we’re looking forward to stimulating debate between some of the sector’s most prolific thought leaders about the future of metal recycling and its pivotal role within a circular packaging economy. With significant policy changes set to transform the packaging and recycling industry over the coming years, we’ll be reiterating the benefits of aluminium as an infinitely recyclable packaging material, as well as the infrastructure changes needed to move ever-closer towards a 100% recycling rate.”

To find out more about RWM & letstrecycle live, visit


Alupro launches UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has launched the ‘UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative’. The move will help increase the awareness and uptake of aerosol recycling among the public and drive increased recycling rates across the UK.

The initiative brings together working group partners from across the value chain including Ball Aerosol Packaging, the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA), Ecosurety, a packaging compliance scheme, the Materials Processing Institute, Suez Recycling and Recovery UK and Tandom Metallurgical Group Ltd, processors of reclaimed aluminium. The project aims to ensure metal aerosol recyclability and viability in a post-extended producer responsibility (EPR) and post-deposit return scheme (DRS) landscape. Metal recycles forever, so the steel or aluminium in metal aerosols can be recycled endlessly, without any loss of quality.

The cross-industry initiative will follow a three-phase approach to educate consumers around best practice recycling, to establish a baseline recycling rate and roadmap for achieving higher future rates for aerosol recycling in the UK, as well as seeking to secure substantial long-term investment into recycling infrastructure. The programme will help ensure that aerosols become a central part of recycling behaviour.

Earlier this year, Alupro, in collaboration with independent environmental consultancy Resource Futures, undertook sampling work to establish knowledge of where a baseline recycling rate for aerosols in the UK lies. The results showed that, despite 95% of councils offering aerosol recycling at kerbside, only 46% of aerosols are correctly separated for recycling by consumers.

‘The Lonely Aerosol’, a consumer engagement campaign, was also launched at the start of the year to encourage consumers to recycle empty aerosol cans. The pilot campaign reached a high volume of consumers, with almost one million people seeing the animations at least twice.

Looking forward, the project will create a roadmap in order to form a strategic approach towards achieving higher aerosol recycling rates in the UK, including the development of new consumer resources.

Predrag Ozmo, head of sustainability at Ball Aerosol Packaging, commented: “We’re proud to have joined the UK Aerosols Recycling Initiative in partnership with Alupro. The programme will provide a unique platform from which consumer behavioural change and infrastructure improvements can be made.

“The project is pivotal in driving further improvements in recycling, addressing both consumer knowledge and the role of government and industry bodies. As a society, we have woken up to the fact that the old linear economic model is no longer working. The urgency and benefits of moving toward a circular economy are clear.

“True circularity involves the continuous recovery and reuse of materials, with nothing lost during the full circle. It is not enough for products to be recyclable – they need to be physically recycled in the real world.”

Robbie Staniforth, Innovation and policy director at Ecosurety, said: “We’re pleased to be involved in this cross-industry initiative. It is vital that we build upon the success of aluminium recycling in general by focusing on specific packaging formats.

“Many of the barriers preventing aerosols being recycled are well-known, what is less clear is how those barriers can be removed. This initiative will pave the way for achieving much higher recycling rates for aluminium packaging in future.”

Tom Giddings, executive director of Alupro, added: “Consistently, aerosols top WRAP’s annual list of confusing consumer packaging types in regard to recycling. As an industry, our goal is to exceed a 50% aerosol recycling rate by 2030, making this initiative critical.

“This initiative will see us work closely with our partners to improve consumer behaviour and aerosol recycling infrastructure in the UK. These changes to the metal packaging industry will contribute not only towards a wider sustainable future but also allow us to take an important step towards a 100% metal packaging recycling rate.

This is just the start of this project; we have big plans for the future and we’re actively welcoming new partners who have an interest in maximising the recycling rate of aerosols.”



Alupro to host sustainability panel at the 2022 UK Metals Expo

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, will host an expert panel debate on beverage can sustainability at this year’s UK Metals Expo. The inaugural two-day event, which takes place between 14-15 September, is set to attract thousands of industry professionals to Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC).

Representing the UK’s aluminium packaging industry, Alupro will exhibit on stand K12 throughout the event. In addition, Martin Hyde, Alupro’s sustainability and public affairs manager, will host a panel of industry experts, including canmaker CANPACK and aluminium producer Speira, to discuss the sustainability challenges facing the aluminium beverage can value chain.

Aiming to bring together the UK’s metal supply chain, as well as representatives from the engineering and manufacturing sectors, the UK Metals Expo is set to become a major calendar event. Attendees can listen to range of keynote speakers and discussions on subjects including innovation, training and the circular economy.

Tom Giddings, executive director at Alupro, commented: “Exhibiting at the UK Metals Expo will provide us with the perfect opportunity to engage with leading companies and thought leaders from across the supply chain. Alongside explaining the circular benefits of aluminium packaging recycling, we’re looking forward to taking part in discussions around the sustainability challenges facing the industry and casting a critical eye over the impending shake-ups to the packaging and waste sectors.

“Being presented with the opportunity to chair a panel debate with thought leaders from some of the world’s leading names in the beverage can supply chain is a huge honour. It offers a valuable platform to share our insight regarding impending legislative changes facing the sector, as well as the importance of knowledge share between the government and packaging supply chain to maximise the opportunities provided by future regulation.”

For more information about Alupro, either visit, or meet the team at this year’s UK Metals Expo.