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'MetalFlow' research under consideration

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Defra is in talks with the UK metals industry to start a research project on the amount of metals packaging put onto the UK market.

This would be to confirm that the current estimates for aluminium and steel packaging are accurate. UK and EU packaging recycling targets are set on the basis of these figures.

MRW understands that more than 20 representatives of the metal industry have been invited to join an initial meeting.

Two companies and one association have told MRW they will be attending the meeting, but that it had not been scheduled yet.

MRW understands the research could mirror the study on the glass market known as the GlassFlow report, which was conducted by Valpak and WRAP and published in October 2013. Members across the supply and recycling chains were consulted to obtain the best available data on glass packaging put onto the UK market in 2012.

The report suggested that the figure had been overestimated, leading to Defra to launch a consultation on reviewing the business glass packaging recycling targets.

Another report commissioned by the British Plastics Federation and released in January 2014 has indicated that the amount of plastics packaging put onto market might also be overestimated. The report, conducted by consultancy 360 Environmental, analysed data from the National Packaging Waste Database to reach this conclusion.

MRW understands that a piece of research on the amount of steel packaging put onto the UK market was carried out in early 2013 as part of a private commercial agreement between an organisation and a consultancy.

Defra currently estimates that about 165,500 tonnes of aluminium and 640,000 tonnes of steel will be put onto the UK market in 2014.

A target of 46% for aluminium and of 73% for steel apply to obligated producers under the Producer Responsibility Regulations.

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