Guidance document helps understand regulations for Packaging Export Recovery Notes (PERNs) for plastics

Baled plastic bottles (image credit: Burke Museum, CC BY-NC 2.0 license).

The Recycling Association has produced guidance on the issuance of Packaging Export Recovery Notes (PERNs) for plastics.

This document helps members interpret the regulations for the 2022 accreditation year.

The Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said: “Towards the end of 2021, the Environment Agency had a purge on material that had been exported to some European destinations, particularly the Netherlands. Significant numbers of PERNs were cancelled as a result.

“The actual regulations pertaining to the shipments of plastics and the EA’s interpretation of them relating to the issue of PERNs is complicated. As a result, we have worked with the EA to produce a Recycling Association guidance document to help Members understand the interpretation of the regulations for the 2022 accreditation year.”

While the EA has attended meetings and commented on the guidance, it is important to note that this is not official EA guidance. Anybody in any doubt should contact the EA for assistance.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have not taken the same approach as their colleagues in England, but this document can be seen as a best practice approach for exporting to Europe.

The document has been circulated to Members of The Recycling Association. Non-Members can receive a copy by emailing