Packaging data reveals positive end to the year

The latest packaging recycling data has revealed a positive end to the year, with all but two grades already having met the 2021 targets with carry over. The figures show there may be some concerns around the level of carry over for both glass and plastic going into the new year, however this will become clearer once the quarterly data is released in January. Here we give an overview of the data, which details how much packaging waste has been recycled or exported between 15 October and 15 November 2021.



As mentioned in our update last month, wood has already met the 2021 target, with 530,648 tonnes reported for this year. As we head into winter and the expectation of a drop in construction, It looks likely that we are now seeing a tail off from larger figures reported for wood.



Glass remelt continues to perform below target, with a small increase of 15,302 tonnes in monthly tonnage reported. However, with carry over, both glass remelt and glass other look set to meet the 2022 targets.

This material looks to be the tightest to its target for 2021, with potential for limited amounts of carry over to take into the following year.


Paper and Aluminium

Paper/board has remained consistent, with a minor drop in tonnages reported for November. The grade has now met 100% of the target for 2021, without 2020 carry over, which is an excellent position for the material moving into 2022.

Aluminium has now also met the 2021 target, sitting at 108% of the target when including carry over.



Tonnage reported for steel fell by over half in November, however when carry over from 2020 is included, this material is now meeting the 2021 target. With the next monthly data released in January, it will be interesting to see if this drop off in steel tonnage continues and the impact on level of carry over to take into 2022.



Plastic has had a better year than expected, but alongside glass, it is the only other grade that has not yet met the 2021 target with carryover included. The growing pressure on the industry to meet the target has seen an increase in reported tonnage by 10,000 in November compared to October. This may rise further with quarterly data released in the new year.

"With the pandemic causing continued impacts across the world, it is reassuring for the industry to go into the new year with many grades taking forward healthy carry over."

Martin Trigg-Knight

Martin Trigg-Knight, Head of Compliance, said: “It is great to reach the end of the year in such a positive position, particularly given the volatility experienced in recent times. With the pandemic causing continued impacts across the world, it is reassuring for the industry to go into the new year with many grades taking forward healthy carry over.

“Despite not yet having met its target, plastic has had a far better than expected year. The final performance of both plastic and glass will give a good indication of the outlook for next year. Glass will need to be watched closely over the next couple of months. If there is limited carry over to take forward into the new year, glass could face more challenging times.

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