Progress Towards 2023 Recycling Targets: Data released September from August Recycling
According to the most recently available data published in September 2023, reflecting August recycling, all grades aside from Glass Other are ahead of their monthly and year-to-date targets. It is positive to see that all grades apart from Plastic performed better than they did last month. Despite most grades sitting comfortably ahead of their year-to-date targets, it is important to mention there are still a number of companies yet to register for 2023. This means that with full demand unknown, prices are likely to stay relatively high across most key grades in the immediate term.
Paper and Board
The most recently available data from August recycling shows a strong production month for this grade with 302,980 PRNs generated. This is almost 23,000t ahead of Paper and Board’s monthly requirement, bringing this grade 351,200t ahead of its year-to-date requirement – a very positive position to be at for this stage in the year.
Despite these numbers being positive, it’s important to keep in mind that Paper and Board’s oversupply will feed into the General Recycling obligation. It is also important to note that the total recycling obligation figures are subject to change as businesses continue to submit their packaging data for 2023.
Glass Re-melt and Glass Other
August was a strong month for Glass Re-melt with 109,000t reprocessed in the past month, which is positive to see following last month’s poor production levels. This month’s production leaves Glass Re-melt 35,614t ahead of its year-to-date requirement.
Glass Other, although it had a stronger month than the previous month (35,345T v 21,635T), failed to hit its monthly requirement and has fallen further behind its year-to-date target by 32,577t.
Glass as a whole remains ahead of target by just 3,037t – so whilst it has gained significant ground over the last quarter, the impact of this has been reduced by more producers submitting, resulting in an increased working glass obligation which puts glass overall in a contentious position. It should be emphasised that a deficit in Glass Other can be redressed through an oversupply of Glass Re-melt.
August PRN data shows that Aluminium hit its monthly requirement (13,000t) and is now sitting almost 6,000t ahead of its year-to-date requirement, meaning Alu is in a relatively strong position for the months ahead. As with all grades, we are working with an obligation that is due to increase as more businesses register with the Environment Agency for the 2023 compliance year, but with few aluminium reprocessors and exporters this could be a grade considered at risk of falling behind.
Steel missed its monthly requirement by over 9,000t, meaning August was a weak production month for this grade (19,540t). Despite this, Steel sits 54,000t ahead of its year-to-date requirement meaning it is in a comfortable position for this stage of the year. However, it is important to keep the late producer registrations in mind and consider how this may impact Steel’s year-to-date progress.
Despite production being lower in August than the previous month, this grade still had a strong month with 94,730 PRNs generated (Vs 96kt last month). Plastic sits 34,360t ahead of its year-to-date requirement. Although this grade is seemingly in an advantageous position for the rest of the year ahead, the progress Plastic reprocessing is making will need continuous review as more obligated businesses submit their 2023 packaging data.
August was a strong month for Wood with 30,830t reprocessed, which is positive to see considering last month’s underperformance. Wood now sits 173,580t over its year-to-date requirement with this month making up for a weak July. Although Wood is significantly ahead, this grade is usually used to ease the strain on the General Recycling obligation and there is still potential for this grade to fall behind once the final obligation is released.
Ed Ewence, Assistant Commercial Director, Clarity Environmental commented:
“It is positive to see a stronger performance across almost all grades compared to the previous data release, now gaining substantial ground against year-to-date targets.
This month’s Plastic performance, although reduced compared to last month, remained relatively strong which may encourage the market to stabilise.
Although overall figures are proving to be positive, as always, the national obligation will increase as more producers feed data in through late submissions over the coming months, and so we tread cautiously when considering the progress made towards the interim obligation figures.“
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