Packaging waste recycling and recovery data for the second quarter of 2015 has confirmed a shortfall in the amount of aluminium packaging waste being sent for recycling.
Under producer responsibility regulations governing packaging, producers have an obligation to pay towards the cost of recycling a proportion of the packaging they place on the market and are set targets each year. They meet the targets by purchasing packaging waste recovery notes (PRNs) from accredited reprocessors and exporters.
However, between April and June 2015, just 12,334 tonnes of aluminium was accepted or exported for recycling or recovery – nearly 6,000 tonnes short of the amount needed for the quarter.
The shortfall has largely been blamed on the removal of protocols for aluminium PRNs, such as mixed alloy cuttings, old rolled and old alloys. The Environment Agency has instead introduced packaging recovery notes on aluminium recovered from incinerator bottom ash (IBA).
Concerns over the data has led metal recycling association Alupro to reiterate its call for changes to the packaging recovery note (PRN) system in order to make it easier for aluminium reprocessors to get accredited.
The association has also commissioned a third party research project to reveal the ‘real recycling rate’ for aluminium, which will be presented to the Environment Agency in the autumn.