The monthly packaging waste data for December has provided a good picture of how the UK performed against recycling targets over the 2020 compliance year.
The latest figures, released by the Environment Agency on the NPWD earlier this month, report on the amount of packaging waste that has been recycled or exported between 10 November and 10 December 2020.
Some packaging recovery note (PRN) grades reported less production in December than in previous months. But with many materials going into December having already achieved the required production targets for 2020 – even without the previous years’ carry over – significant proportions of the PRNs produced in December are available to be carried forward into the 2021 compliance year.
Paper and aluminium are two grades that look to be furthest ahead of target and will start the new compliance year with significant carry over. With 272,761 tonnes reported in December, total production of paper is reported at 3,548,285 for 2020. This is 115% of its target without carry over from 2019. Aluminium reported 12,062 tonnes in December – less than the previous two months – but with 145,035 tonnes in total produced in 2020, the grade is 118% of target for the year not including 2019 carry over.
Despite particular concerns over the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on plastic, this grade has managed to go just beyond its target, with 1,116,518 tonnes produced in total in 2020, which is 101% of target for the year.