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Progress Towards 2023 Recycling Targets: May data release

In May, every grade surpassed the monthly requirement based on the current obligation figures however, as with April’s data, it is important to consider that a significant number of obligated businesses remain unregistered. Despite this fact, the market reacted positively to the reduced obligation over the past month.

Paper and Board

May was another strong month for Paper and Board with just under 300,000 PRNs generated. This is over its monthly target, leaving Paper and Board 260,800t ahead of its year-to-date target which is very positive at this stage in the year. However, as previously mentioned the total obligation figures are subject to change as businesses continue to submit their packaging data for 2023. 

Glass Re-melt and Glass Other

In May, Glass Re-melt had a positive month with 107,500 PRNs generated. This was an improvement on April’s poor performance and leaves Glass Re-melt comfortably over target by 17,000t.

Glass Other also had a positive month with 39,000t of Glass Other reprocessed in May. Due to poor performances in the first half of the year, despite this strong performance Glass Other remains behind target by 22,600t.

Overall, the Glass performance for May is an improvement on previous months; however, due to a stagnant market, Glass remains behind target and pricing could remain high. There’s also potential for further volatility if summer bottle consumption is low and supply is constricted.


Aluminium exceeded its monthly target in May with 13,500 PRNs generated. This strong performance brings Alu 3,500t ahead of its year-to-date target and in a positive position at this stage of the year. As with all grades, there is a danger targets could be missed as we see more obligated businesses submit their PRN data for 2023.


Steel experienced a strong month in May with 34,000t reprocessed, this is 6,700t over its monthly target, leaving Steel ahead of its year-to-date target by 24,000t. This is a grade in a strong position however, it is important to keep the late producer registrations in mind and consider how this may impact Steels year-to-date progress.


Plastic had a very positive month in May with 95,500 PRNs generated, beating its monthly target by 7,750t, leaving Plastic almost 20,000t ahead of is year-to-date target. These figures are positive to see after last year’s availability issues and high prices, however, the progress Plastic reprocessing is making will need continuous review as more obligated businesses submit their 2023 packaging data


May was a strong month for Wood reprocessing with 37,600 PRNs generated, over 10,000t ahead of its monthly target, leaving Wood at 103,000t ahead of its year-to-date target. This follows a few months of very strong performances from Wood, despite Wood being significantly ahead, there is still some potential for this grade to fall behind once the final obligation is released.

May was a very positive month for UK recycling with almost all grades sitting ahead of target based on the current obligation however, we still have a significant number of companies yet to submit data so we’re working with a partial obligation still. Despite this, the market has reacted well to the reduced obligation.

Ed Ewence

Assistant Commercial Director

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