The interim packaging recycling and recovery data for the final quarter of 2019 has been released by the Environment Agency on the National Packaging Waste Data, detailing how much packaging waste was recycled or exported between October to December. Although the data is not yet finalised, the interim data gives an idea of what to expect.
Despite the challenges faced by the sector, the data shows the industry expanded its capacity in response to last year’s high PRN prices, ensuring the UK met and exceeded 2019 recycling targets.Recycling and recovery figures for the first two months of the year have also been released, detailing an interesting start for PRN production, with many grades continuing to report positive figures. Although the biggest response has been seen from the export sector, there has also been increased capacity developed in the UK reprocessing sector.
Plastic and aluminium – the grades that caused most concern throughout 2019 – are taking substantial carry over tonnage into 2020. With 54,367 tonnes accepted, or awaiting acceptance, into 2020, plastic has had a much healthier start to the year than expected, when this figure is combined with the monthly production figures for January and February (currently 158,889 tonnes). Aluminium is in a similar position, with a carry over of 7,746 tonnes added to the 19,371 tonnes from January and February.
With a combination of carry over and healthy monthly production, most other PRN grades are also in a positive position. Glass other is one grade that could be stronger, however, with data revealing that glass overall might have less reason to be confident than most other grades.