Targets set by the government for the recycling of packaging materials are on track to be achieved for 2017, according to the latest set of figures published by the Environment Agency.
The data, released on the National Packaging Waste Database yesterday on October 23 is for quarter three (Q3) – July to September 2017.
There was a stronger than expected plastic recycling performance in Q3 which actually mirrored a trend that was seen in the previous quarter.
The amount of paper and plastic recycling carried out has been under great scrutiny in light of the tighter import controls proposed by China on material quality and the halting of some exports of plastic packaging film to China.
In Q3 2017, 921,942 tonnes of paper was collected for recycling, with 585,802 (2016: 640,444) tonnes of this exported overseas for reprocessing and 336,139 (2016: 302,709 ) tonnes reprocessed in the UK.
In Q3, 273,899 tonnes of plastics was collected in Q3, with 179,972 (2016: 168,220) tonnes sent abroad and 93,928 (2016: 85,876) tonnes processed domestically. Overall, both exports of plastics and UK reprocessing tonnages increased when compared to the same period in 2016.