The provisional packaging data has been released for the third quarter of 2021, along with an update on the recycling targets to be met for the year.
The data, which details how much packaging waste has been recycled or exported between July and September this year, has provided a positive view of the recycling rates. Many materials are performing ahead of where they need to be, with the exception of glass remelt, which continues to lag behind.
The quarterly data for paper/board sees the continued downward trend in tonnage reported for the material, although it remains in a strong position to meet targets. With the tonnage reported for this quarter at 891,053, it is down 48,000 tonnes on the previous quarter. This puts the total at 2,824,064 tonnes without carryover and is at 95% of target with carryover.
Another consistent quarter for aluminium, with 38,949 tonnes reported in the third quarter. Aluminium has looked strong, remaining ahead of target throughout 2021, with Covid-19 and UK lockdowns having had little impact in the figures reported.
Even without carryover, aluminium is at 87% of the target. At this point of the year we would want to see 75% of the targets met across materials.
Glass other has fallen fractionally for quarter three, by 474 tonnes to 140,717. This still positions it well towards meeting the 2021 targets, especially when carry over is included. This is also bolstering the figures for total glass, which is at 78% of the target.
Glass remelt remains concerning, with small fall from the highs of 343,738 reported in quarter two. Although not the position we would like to see at this stage in the year, with carryover included it is on target, if not above.
Pressures on business collections of the material due to the HGV shortages experienced in the UK may have resulted in the 342,792 tonnes reported for this quarter. However, the voluntary monthly reported figures for September do look much stronger for the grade which, if it continues for October, will reduce the pressure for quarter four.
This material remains consistent with earlier quarter releases and looks set to meet the targets, with 102,198 tonnes provisionally reported for quarter three. Tonnages currently look ahead of where they need to be for steel, with over 90% of the target accounted for. With carryover, steel seems secure in getting where it is needed before the end of the year.
The quarterly figures for plastic have, once again, fallen. With quarter one figures sitting at over 300,000, we have since seen quarter two at 288,192 tonnes and then a further drop of 28,010 tonnes to 260,182 in this latest data.
A further 178,101 tonnes must be recycled in the last quarter of the year to ensure targets are met, although looking at the general trends for reporting figures, this should not be a stretch. With carryover from the previous year, plastic seems likely to meet the target, already at 80% of this figure.
In line with the past couple of months of voluntary reporting figures, wood looks very strong and is well beyond the recycling target for 2021. Including the carryover, wood is at 162% of the recycling target for 2021, with 486,111 tonnes total reported over the last three quarters.