2018 data indicates strong Q4 and all targets met

08 FEBRUARY 2019

Each month, the ACP publishes a snapshot position of the amount of packaging recycling that has been reported onto NPWD. The February data has just been published showing the position for 2018 and the amount that has been recorded so far in 2019

The 2018 data should be pretty much the final 2018 position as all reprocessors and exporters should have put their data on by the end of January if they wanted to issue PRNs. In some cases, the tonnage shown might not be a true reflection of the total available. For aluminium, for instance, significantly less was recorded in Q4 than Q3 indicating that some operators may have intentionally not reported all their tonnage to keep the PRN price high. But generally, what has been reported should provide a good indication for 2019.

The table below shows the extrapolated Q4 tonnage and with 2017 carry forward, compares that to the obligation to give a likely suplus position.

It shows that for all materials, there was a surplus and in most cases, a higher surplus than the carry forward from 2017. But until we see the final data at the end of February, we won't know how much of that surplus has been carried forward. For plastic and the overall recycling target, however, there is far less surplus indicating a potentially tight year for those.

Whilst glass was causing concerns after the first three quarters in 2018, the high PRN price appears to have driven up Q4 tonnage to record levels with a big jump in aggregate use in particular. Wood also saw strong growth in Q4.

As well as the 2018 data, the EA also published the first 2019 monthly data. This showed a particularly strong position for wood although this could well be that wood recyclers are just reporting earlier. However, with significantly more wood reprocessors accredited for 2019 than at the same time last year, it could also indicated a rise in the amount of wood recycling.