The release of quarter 2 recycling figures has incited mixed reactions from the recycling world.
While some materials are on track to reaching end-of-year targets, there is still concern for others, particularly recovery and aluminium.
Shortfalls bring unease
The removal of some aluminium protocols last year used to generate a significant amount of evidence (~10,000 tonnes), has resulted in a shortfall of recycling in quarters 1 (see previous story) and quarter 2. Only 12,334 tonnes of aluminium was recycled in quarter 2; approximately 8,000 tonnes off the quarterly requirement (see table below). This is disappointing, particularly as the bottom ash incinerator protocol bought in this year to help deal with the shortage, does not appear to be improving the situation. This could be due to the lack of accreditation sought from reprocessors due to the low price of aluminium evidence. There is potential for this to impact producers within the food or drink sector, particularly if they have not fixed or agreed capped prices for their aluminium evidence.
Recovery evidence is also still experiencing a shortfall. Following the shortage in quarter 1, which is thought to be due to a change in criteria for EfW accreditation, it was hoped that many reprocessors would achieve status and that recovery evidence would increase throughout the year. But this does not seem to be happening as speedily as needed.
Table 1. Quarter 2 recycling figures
The good news is that all other materials are on track to hitting the annual targets, with materials such as wood and paper having a particularly large surplus. Even plastic, which saw a shortfall in quarter 1 seems to have increased, bringing positivity to the market, which previously saw reprocessors struggling to compete with virgin polymer due to falling oil prices and lack of tonnage acceptance in China.
ecosurety’s commercial director James Piper comments “the focus for us will be ensuring the decision taken to remove protocoled aluminium does not impact UK recycling. The view that bottom ash processing would replace protocol appears to be impacting the market and this needs reviewing to understand why delays are occurring with registrations and reporting.
We know that the low PRN availability does not tie in with actual packaging being recycled so this suggests with more transparency the pricing impact should be limited.”
Do you sell packaging or packaged goods in Europe and want to know more about the Green Dot labelling obligations? Need to know where the Green Dot is mandatory, optional or not available? Or are you looking for details on how Ecosurety can support companies with international compliance?Read More >>
In this free webinar our specialist Richard Hodges will help you understand how your packaging obligation is calculated, what is required for accurate reporting and where the UK recycling rates currently stand. There will also be an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Read More >>
This webinar is CPD accredited.
Defra is pushing forward the government’s red tape challenge, launching a consultation on the batteries and packaging regulations.Read More >>