The most recent dataset, issued in January and reflecting December’s reprocessing figures, indicates encouraging progress across all recycling grades as we near the end of the compliance year. However, Glass Other continues to lag significantly behind target, despite stability in the overall Glass category, this suggests that the carryover tonnage for this grade from the 2023 to 2024 compliance year may be lower than previous years.
Progress Against Recycling Targets: December PRN Data Released in January
Paper and Board
December saw strong performance in Paper and Board recycling, generating 323,370 Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs), surpassing the monthly requirement by 28,920t. This achievement places Paper and Board 392,395t ahead of its year-to-date target, establishing a comfortable position for this grade. Despite the grade’s consistent robust performance, it’s important to acknowledge that the oversupply of Paper and Board will help to fulfil the General Recycling obligation.
While the data appears promising for this grade, the PRN price for this grade remains volatile due to the red sea shipment issues.
Glass Other and Glass Remelt
Glass Re-melt had an exceptionally strong month with 127,818 PRNs generated in December, exceeding its monthly requirement by almost 22,000t. Glass Other missed its monthly requirement with 35,864t reprocessed in December. Despite Glass Other’s relatively weak performance throughout the year, the overall Glass category remains stable and ahead of its year-to-date requirement by 16,754t.
The 2023 to 2024 Glass carryover tonnage appears to be less than previous years, this grade must be treated with caution going into to 2024 compliance year.
Aluminium had a relatively strong month in October with 13,331t, exceeding its monthly requirement by 1000t. December’s performance leaves this grade in a positive position as the compliance year draws to a close (12,073t ahead of year-to-date requirement). Given the limited number of aluminium reprocessors and exporters, this grade still warrants continuous attention.
In December, Steel missed its monthly requirement by over 4,000t with 25,672 Steel PRNs generated. The shipping issues in the Red Sea impacted this grade regarding pricing however, Steel maintains a comfortable position, surpassing its year-to-date requirement by 15,289t.
In December, unlike the previous month, Plastic missed its monthly requirement by 17,519t, with 78,036 Plastic PRNs generated. Despite this, Plastic maintains a lead of 25,339t over its year-to-date requirement. As highlighted earlier regarding Steel and Paper, Plastic also faces significant challenges stemming from export issues, such as those currently occurring in the Red Sea region.
Wood had another impressively strong month with 59,360t of Wood reprocessed. This could be down to underreporting in previous months data releases by reprocessors, rather than a sharp increase of production. This performance leaves Wood 275,431t ahead of its year-to-date requirement, which is very positive however, it is worth keeping in mind that typically the oversupply of Wood contributes to the General Recycling obligation.
Chris Taylor, Director of Operations at Clarity commented the following on the latest data release:
“In December, we witnessed a commendable performance in UK recycling, with all grades surpassing their respective targets. This performance is particularly encouraging as we conclude the 2023 compliance year. However, there are lingering concerns regarding the volume, or potential lack thereof, of carryover into the 2024 compliance year, notably concerning Glass.
The export difficulties encountered in the Red Sea region demonstrate the impact of global challenges on the PRN market and show the important role PERNs play in facilitating the movement of waste.”
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