Q3 packaging data indicates all targets will be met

24 OCTOBER 2019

The Q3 packaging recycling data was published on Tuesday giving confidence that this year's targets would be met with ease across pretty much all materials. The table below shows significant increases in aluminium, glass, wood and plastic over previous quarters with the two key areas of previous concern - aluminium and plastic - now well on track to meet their targets. Whilst steel and paper have seen slight falls, they are well ahead of what is needed to meet their individual targets and overall, the recycling and recovery targets are well ahead of requirements as well. 

However, there must be a note of caution. Whilst these numbers should see some of the heat taken out of PRN prices, the plastic figures have raised concerns about whether they are an accurate reflection of the amount of packaging being recycled - or boosted by some creative  PRN generation. The graph below shows the level of plastic export and UK reprocessing growth and with the continually tightening quality expectations by export destinations, the export growth in particular is raising eyebrows. There must also be consideration given to a likely increase in obligation given that the obligated data indicates we are still a couple of hundred producers short of the total registered in 2018.