Q3 packaging data published

23 OCTOBER 2017

The quarter 3 packaging recycling data has been published showing that once again, despite all the concerns over recent Chinese import announcements, plastic has exceeded all expectations.

The table below shows the impact of the Q3 data on the 2017 obligation and it can be seen that for plastic, that means that only 168.5k tonnes are needed in Q4 to meet the target. The graph below shows the relative volumes of UK reprocessing and export for plastic with the UK position maintaining the levels that were the surprise of Q2. For exports, it would seem that there was a general clearing out of stock before the problems caused by the Chinese restrictions really began to bite, so the uncertainty going forward is how this will affect Q4. But given that in Q2, we know that only 38k tonnes went to China, it suggests that this year's target for plastic will be easily met.

Glass was previously a concern, with Q1 and Q2 seeing a tight position against the target. However, a significant increase in Q3 has now put that on a much stronger footing. 

All the other materials have continued to perform strongly. The steel obligation is now nearly met and aluminium and overall recycling levels are well ahead of the required trajectory.