The provisional 2020 packaging data for Q1 was released on Wednesday 22 April 2020, detailing how much packaging waste has been recycled or exported between January and March this year. Although the data is not yet final, it provides an important first insight into the recycling performance for the compliance year.
With the country in lockdown since the end of March, this first quarterly data release was widely anticipated, with many keen to examine whether it would illustrate any difficulties being faced by the industry as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. Although we will have to wait until the April monthly data is released next month to find out whether the lockdown is having an effect, it does show what capacity there is for the industry to deal with reduced recycling in Q2.
Overall, the data provides a very positive outlook for the year, with all materials on track to hit targets. It is important to note that the UK’s total obligation for PRNs are currently estimated until the reported obligated data for 2020 is published in May. But the Q1 data is very strong, particularly when carry over from 2019 is taken into account.
Elevated PRN prices at the end of 2019 have had a positive impact on the recycling and recovery rates for aluminium, which records a particularly positive Q1, achieving 31% of its overall estimated obligation without carry over. Likewise, plastic also performed well, with an increase of over 60,000 tonnes from this time last year. Plastic currently sits at 28% of its overall estimated obligation without carry over.
Glass other is one grade that could be stronger, however, with data revealing that glass overall might have less reason to be confident than many other grades.