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‘Real danger’ glass packaging target will be missed

UK – Latest provisional data published by the UK Environment Agency’€™s National Packaging Waste Database reveals a sharp drop in the country’€™s glass recycling performance while prices paid for glass Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) have surged. Should this trend continue, there is a ‘€˜real danger’€™ the market won’€™t achieve packaging targets this year, argues the Environment Exchange’€™s Senior Market Operator Thomas Rickerby.

According to the new data, around 350 000 tonnes of glass was sent for recycling and recovery in the second quarter of 2012 – a total some 75 000 tonnes short of what is needed per quarter to meet this year’€™s target and almost 90 000 tonnes below the figure for the same period in 2011. ‘€˜Glass is a big concern,’€™ has been told by Mr Rickerby. ‘€˜The figure is almost catastrophic and the market is in real danger of not complying this year. This has happened quite suddenly and a lot of the market won’€™t have seen this coming.’€™

Since plastics and steel are not doing well either, he fears the market is potentially facing an undersupply of the three materials. ‘€˜We have not seen a situation like this in PRNs for over two years. After two years of low PRN prices, it is going to be a bitter pill to swallow to see much higher PRN prices for these materials.’€™

It is stressed that these figures are not final as some reprocessors have yet to submit information. And according to Chris Taylor of PRN trading specialist Clarity Environmental, all is not necessarily lost. He he informed ‘€˜The poor summer weather we experienced at the start of the season could go some way to explain these low volumes and perhaps that glass produced from Euro 2012 has not yet been reprocessed. Once these figures come through, it’€™s likely to make up some of the deficit and with the Olympics starting next week, we should start seeing larger volumes.’€™

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