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Q1 unverified packaging recycling data released (Update)

24th April 2017

Melanie Harper

Update 03/05/2017: Since we originally reported the Q1 Packaging Unverified Data on 28/04/2017, the data has been updated by the Environment Agency which has resulted in some large changes to the current level of performance. The main material change since the released unverified data is Plastic, where we have seen a decrease of 70,000 tonnes which has resulted in the recycling rates for plastic decreasing from 32% to 25%. Other materials have seen small changes to tonnages submitted, but not enough to affect the overall performance percentages. The unverified recycling data still remains strong across most materials. Despite the updates, it is worth noting that it is unverified data and there are a number of reprocessors and exporters still to report data. The updated graph with material percentages without carry in are as follows:

Please note that as the 2017 Producer Obligations have not been released by the Environment Agency, this percentage performance is based on the 2016 Producer Obligations, which have been scaled up to account for any recycling rate increases for 2017.

The most surprising figure is on Plastic given the amount of doom and gloom that has been emanating from the exporters over the last month or so regarding high shipping costs and issues with China accepting Plastics under Operation Sword. In fact, the Plastic data looks almost too positive and strong (a record quarterly return in fact) that it is worth considering there might be a reporting error within such data which will be amended once verified in the coming weeks. One to certainly keep an eye on and the true impact of Operation Sword might not be seen in the numbers until the Q2 data is published.

In terms of the other materials, they are very positive and reflect a good start to 2017. Glass is a little precarious and needs to be monitored closely as Glass Re-melt is still having to make up for Glass Other shortfalls. Aluminium is also a bit below where it should be for the quarter but with carryover from 2016 should be okay and we don't expect significant price rides.


Steel, Paper, Wood and EfW all look strong for this point of the year. We now await the first set of UK obligation which is due to be published in May so that we can truly compare the PRN supply and demand situation by material type for 2017. If you have any questions about the data, please contact the packaging team at packaging@complydirect.com.