Packaging compliance schemes and reprocessors are eagerly awaiting today’s Spring Budget, expecting a decision on whether plastic and glass packaging recycling targets will be amended.
The plastics target for 2016 is currently at 52% and is set to rise to 57% for 2017. However, the Plastic Flow report in 2014 raised concerns that baseline data used by Defra to measure the UK’s progress to meeting its EU packaging targets was incorrect and the high target was unnecessarily increasing costs. In response to these concerns, a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) consultation last year proposed to amend both the plastics and glass packaging targets.
There are two options for reducing the target for plastics. The first would see it lowered to 48% for the year and then increasing by 1% each year until 2020, and the second would see the target drop to 49% with annual increases of 2%.
Chris Taylor, Clarity Environmental Commercial Manager, said a reduction would be welcomed by many in the industry, allowing a continued easing of plastic prices: “Despite huge volatility in the recovered plastic market last year, falling oil prices and a slowdown in the Chinese economy, plastic over-performed in the last quarter of 2015 and defied all expectations by exceeding its target. Dropping the target to either 48% or 49% would be welcome news for the plastics recycling sector, allowing us to comfortably meet the target without placing any additional cost burden on producers and providing more time for the industry to review the system.”
Defra is also asking for views on proposals for the future of the glass packaging target until 2020. These include options for the target to remain at its current level of 77% until the end of the decade or yearly annual increases of the target of 1% up to 2020.
Clarity has been buying and selling packaging recovery notes (PRNs) since our business started in 2002. We are now one of the largest and most experienced open market traders of PRNs. To talk to our team about buying or selling any grade of packaging recovery note (PRN), or joining our packaging compliance scheme, contact our team on 0845 129 7177.