Environment Agency data reveals packaging recycling targets for 2011 achieved

Photo of packaging

April 2012

Provisional data published by the Environment Agency indicates that packaging producers have comfortably met the recycling targets for 2011.

The Environment Agency’s National Packaging Waste Database shows that 7.3 million tonnes of packaging was sent for recycling or recovery in 2011. This exceeds the 2011 target of 7 million tonnes.

Almost 60,000 tonnes of glass PRNs were carried over into 2012, which is considerably higher than the 12,000 tonnes carried over the year previously. However, the number of paper PRNs carried forward has decreased from 183,000 tonnes in 2010 to just 145,000 tonnes.

However, higher recycling targets for packaging set in the 2012 Budget (see news article). Later in 2012, the Government will legislate for increased statutory packaging recycling targets from 2013 to 2017, starting from the existing level in 2012 and increasing on 1 January each year. The targets are as follows:

  • Steel recycling to increase by 1% per year from 71% in 2012 to 76% in 2017
  • Aluminium recycling to increase by 3% per year from 40% in 2012 to 55% in 2017.
  • Plastic recycling to increase by 5% per year from 32% in 2012 to 57% in 2017.
  • Paper recycling to remain at 69.5% and wood to remain at 22%.
  • The overall packaging recovery rate is to rise from 74% in 2012 to 79% in 2017, while overall packaging recycling will grow from 68% to 73% over that period.

The glass target will be split into sub-categories by end use. Additional recycling is to be met by re-melting glass rather than simply using it as an aggregate in the construction industry. The proportion and total tonnage of glass going for re-melt should increase somewhat each year towards 2017.

The new targets are intended to reduce the demand on raw material and make more recyclable material available to companies.

thinkstep's outsourced Packaging Compliance Services will ensure that companies can implement robust and legally compliant packaging reporting, take-back and recovery arrangements in the UK and all other EU Member States. In addition, thinkstep's Packaging Update Service will keep companies informed of changes in UK Packaging Regulations and how these changes will impact Packaging producers in the UK.