Packaging waste targets look likely to be met

Posted on 7th August, 2017

The data for the second quarter of 2017 for the recycling and recovery of packaging waste shows that the UK is set to meet its targets for 2017.

There have been concerns that with difficulties over the export of some waste plastics to China, the level of reprocessing would fall and insufficient plastics evidence would emerge. This has not been the case in the second quarter of 2017 with many breathing a sigh of relief as a result.

However, going forward there will still be difficulties over exporting paper and plastics to China.

Looking at a couple of the materials in more details, in the second quarter in excess of 890,000 tonnes of material was collected for recycling, with around 556,976 tonnes of this exported overseas for reprocessing and 333,155 tonnes processed in the UK. Nevertheless, while export remains the primary outlet for material, when compared to the same period 12 months earlier, the overall proportion of material processed domestically has risen.

In plastics, the figures indicate a total of 248,168 tonnes of material was collected during 2017 Q2. Of this, the bulk (153,948 tonnes) was sent for processing overseas, with a smaller proportion recorded as having been processed within the UK (94,219 tonnes). This represents a slight decrease on the overall volume of plastics collected during the same period in 2016, but the figures suggest that a greater tonnage of material was processed in domestic facilities.