Figures indicate recycling volumes grew confidently in 2016

The recently released recycling figures from 2016 have confirmed what many had anticipated given the stable PRN pricing in 2016, that recycling volumes across all materials grew steadily.

All material streams, with the exception of Glass aggregate, saw growth. Little concern has been raised regarding the downturn in Glass aggregate volumes as the growth in Glass remelt activity more than made up the shortfall. The highest margin of growth was seen in the Recovery market were a stellar 61% was recorded. This has been down to the registration of new plants along with the upgrading of older ones which now meet new registration guidelines.

Paper and Wood markets saw some small incremental growth, which some have attributed to the increase in the note values towards the end of 2015. In light of a smaller than expected increase in the Plastic target and weaker demand Plastic performed well reporting growth of around 13%. The Steel market reported strong growth of 14% which in the face of concerns regarding the UK industry early in 2016 was quite remarkable. Aluminium, buoyed by the inclusion of tonnage claimed from the incinerator bottom ash industry, recorded growth of 18%.

Overall performance in the sector totaled 8.2 million tonnes recycled for the year thus meeting the target of 7.7 million tonnes with ease and providing some good carry in for the upcoming year. We are due to hear confirmation of packaging waste targets from the government in the coming weeks


-Ian Andrews