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December Packaging Waste Data Confirms Targets Met

The latest packaging waste data, published by the Environment Agency, suggests that all materials have met the 2019 targets.

Published on 10 January 2020, the data reports on the previous months’ figures for how much packaging waste has been recycled or exported.

The December packaging data was eagerly awaited this year, with a nervousness amongst many that the key volatile grades – plastic and aluminium – were in danger of failing to meet UK targets. Production volumes were a cause for concern, and both materials experienced exceptionally high prices due to the shortage of recycling evidence.

Despite concerns over whether plastic and aluminium would meet the targets, there is now evidence of positive carry over for both materials going into the 2020 compliance year.

The December monthly data suggests an over production, and as such potential to carry forward 36,000/t plastic and 5,700/t aluminium packaging recovery notes (PRNs) into 2020, with additional production likely to be added when the quarterly data is released. The data has brought some stability to the market, and prices have reduced in response.

The monthly data suggests that paper and wood will go forward with significant carry over, with potential for the entire December production to be be used against the 2020 compliance year. Glass and steel have slightly weaker production in December, but both achieve target and will bring carry over tonnage into 2020.  General recycling was also comfortably achieved, thanks to the excess wood and paper available, with prices for both grades softening in the latter part of 2019 as a result.

Clarity Environmental Head of Packaging, Martin Trigg-Knight, was positive about the figures:

“By its very design, the PRN system is able to respond to low production volumes, with higher prices stimulating recycling. The December figures show the system doing what it was intended to and production now looks positive according to these latest figures, with a likelihood of healthy carryover for both aluminium and plastic. With targets increasing, this carry over will put us in a positive position for the coming year.”

To talk to a member of our team about our Comply with Clarity packaging compliance scheme, get in touch on 0845 129 7177 or visit our website for more information.

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