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Positive Progress Towards Targets Revealed in Provisional Q3 Packaging Data

The provisional 2019 packaging data for Q3 was released on Tuesday 22 October 2019, providing an insight into how much packaging waste has been recycled or exported between July and September, and enabling a comparison against the UK’s overall obligation.

Many materials have continued to make positive progress in Quarter 3 towards their net 2019 obligations, with interim data reporting that paper, glass, steel and wood are all on track to exceed their obligations.

Both paper and wood have hit annual production targets well before the end of the year, and this has been reflected in the PRN market, with the price of paper and wood PRNs softening from the highs experienced earlier in the year. Assisted by the excess wood and paper available, the UK will also comfortably achieve its general recycling obligation.

Glass has also experienced a strong quarter. Including carry over production, total glass now sits at 81 per cent of its target. With around 310,000 tonnes remaining to achieve target this year, there is expected to be a significant carry over for glass in 2020.

Aluminium has had its strongest quarter of the year for production. With almost 30,000 tonnes reported in Q3, this now takes the overall production to just under 81,000 tonnes in 2019, which is 74.63 percent of target including carry over. If aluminium production remains at similar levels throughout Q4, and providing the UK obligation does not significantly increase, aluminium is heading back on course. But despite these positive signs, current figures are still behind where they need to be to hit target and as a result prices are likely to remain high in Q4.

Plastic has also seen some recovery in production, with 303,058 tonnes in Q3. Including carry over, plastic is now at 77.34 percent of its overall production target for the year. However, Sam Caplen, Business Development Executive at Clarity Environmental, said some caution must also remain over the latest figures for plastic. “The Q3 data has brought some relief to plastic PRNs, indicating that the historic high prices seen throughout the quarter has aided production. Plastic is now slightly ahead of target for the time of year and we have started to see a softening in the prices of PRNs as a result.

“Availability remains tight, however, and we expect to see the plastic obligation increase. As a result, plastic will need high returns in the final quarter to ensure it meets its target.”

It is important to note that the interim data is provisional until the final data is published by the Environment Agency next month.

To talk to a member of our team about our Comply with Clarity packaging compliance scheme, get in touch on 0845 129 7177 or visit our website for more information.

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