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Packaging Recycling Targets Met

All packaging recycling targets were met in 2016, according to the latest data from the Environment Agency, with strong rises for aluminium, steel and plastic.

Provisional data for the 2016 compliance year, taken from the monthly submissions by reprocessors to the National Packaging Waste Database, shows the amount of packaging recycled or recovered in the UK is likely to finish at an estimated 8.2 million tonnes.

The data is not usually published until mid-March, but with the voluntary monthly reporting from reprocessors and exporters now in place, the figures have been published early, together with the final obligation for 2016.

The statistics, as expected, show a strong end to the year, with packaging recycling and recovery increasing by 766,718 tonnes in 2016 compared to the previous 12 months, which is close to a 7 per cent increase. This leaves nearly 500,000 tonnes of packaging recycling evidence which is expected to be carried over into the 2017 compliance year.

Despite concerns at the start of the year that aluminium packaging could face difficulties, with the much reported crises in the UK steel industry, recycling of this grade rose from 76,027 tonnes in 2015 to 90,053 tonnes in 2016.

The increase in energy from waste facilities applying for R1 accreditation led to a 61 per cent rise for recovery in 2016, after experiencing a shortfall in 2015 as a result of a ruling that meant only registered energy from waste plants could issue packaging recovery notes (PRNs).

Steel and plastic packaging also had impressive rises, with 14.2 per cent and 13.7 per cent increases on 2015 tonnages respectively.

Commenting on the latest figures, Clarity Environmental Commercial Manager, Chris Taylor, said: “The indications have been, for some time, that the UK will have no difficulty complying with our 2016 targets, so whilst not yet verified, the latest data throws out no big surprises.

“With a positive outlook for this year, and tonnages being carried forward to the UK’s 2017 obligation, particularly in the case of plastic, the impact on the packaging recovery note markets is that they remain stable. In contrast to the same time last year, the markets are under very little pressure, and for now at least, prices are relatively flat across all grades.”

The final statistics for 2016 will be published by the Environment Agency in March.

If you would like to talk to Clarity Environmental about buying or selling any grade of packaging recovery note (PRN), contact a member of our PRN trading team on 0845 129 7177.

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