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Verified Packaging Data Reveals Bleaker Picture for Aluminium & Plastic

Publication of the final Q2 packaging recycling and recovery data has revealed plastic and aluminium to be further behind target than previously thought, needing positive production for the remainder of the year.

The verified packaging data was released by the Environment Agency on Friday 9 August 2019 on the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD), providing an insight into the amount of packaging waste that has been recycled or exported halfway through the year. The Environment Agency also released updated obligation figures, enabling a comparison against the UK’s overall obligation.

Late registration of packaging data by some large producers means that the volume of material required to meet collection targets are slightly higher than indicated by previous figures for some materials. The overall obligation has increased by a total of 403,291 tonnes, with some large producers previously missing from the first release of data in July.

The final data confirms strong production for paper, which at 967,026 tonnes, now stands at just over 68% of its target despite tonnage being added to the obligation. The same goes for glass and steel which continue to proceed comfortably towards annual targets.

Wood has responded well to its increased target this year; the high PRN price delivering increased recycling rates as the system is designed to do, and there is little cause for concern over whether the wood target will be met this year. Currently standing at over 77% of its net obligation, another strong production means wood could meet its target by the end of Q3.

Plastic and aluminium continue to trail behind, and with an additional 65,057 tonnes of plastic and 5,799 of aluminium added to the UK obligation since the provisional data, concerns remain over these materials which now stand at 49% and just under 47% respectively.

The Q2 data does report increased production for both plastic and aluminium when compared to the previous month, which suggests that these materials have responded to the historically high prices by increasing recycling.

Martin Trigg-Knight, Clarity Environmental Packaging Compliance Manager, commented on the verified data: “The final data confirms that many materials remain on track to meet recycling targets, and the PRN system appears to be working to increase recycling rates in the face of substantially diminished export markets.

“However, with the overall obligation increasing by over 403,000 tonnes, the final data paints a bleaker picture for aluminium and plastic and these markets remain volatile, with concerns remaining over these materials can meet targets by the end of the year.  We continue to work alongside our PRN trading team, and together with our packaging compliance members to help them manage the cost of compliance as much as we can.”

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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