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UK glass and plastic recycling continues to fall

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Date posted: 14th May 2013

The EA packaging recycling data for Q1-2013 shows a poor quarter for glass and plastic recycling. Since last year glass recycling has fallen particularly within the UK melt trade which fell by 24K tonnes. During Q1 a total of 327K tonnes of glass was recycling, of which 163K tonnes was classed as UK melt and 62K tonnes was classed as export.

Historically UK glass melt has remained steady, but with the Q1 fall in the total tonnage it puts glass recycling in a delicate predicament for the future. Due to the unsteady recycling outlook it is important that companies who have a glass obligation to ensure security with their compliance scheme to receive the best available PRNs. However, the PRN values will be difficult to gauge until all 2013 packaging waste obligation data has been gathered.

Plastic recycling targets are due to increase 5% year on year until 2017. Compared with glass there was a smaller drop in the recycling totals during Q1-2013 but in comparison with last year, the UK would have to recycle 165K tonnes of plastic this year to comply with the set targets. The 5% increase each year will drive up demand for PRNs but similar to glass, the full extent of how much this will increase will become apparent once the obligated data has been published.

For glass and plastic in particular it looks like it will be an expensive year ahead for PRN values. If you require any additional information about the packaging waste regulations and changes in PRN values, please get in touch.

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