Packaging recovery obligation figures for 2010 have fallen for the second year in a row.
According to producer obligation tables published by the Environment Agency earlier this week, total recovery obligations for packaging producers have fallen to 6,719,905 tonnes from 6,842,574 tonnes in 2009 – a decrease of 122,000 tonnes.
Scrap-ex commercial director Duncan Frearson said: “I don’t think the EA numbers will be that much of a surprise to anyone and given current PRN (packaging recovery note) levels one would assume a lot of this news is already priced in. We are clearly seeing the broader impact of the economic slowdown and this really shows what a tough time UK plc has had.”
Environment Exchange senior market operator Thomas Rickerby agreed the drop is a result of the recession: “With the recessionary year causing a fall in obligations for the second year in a row, it is now more important than ever that we conduct an accurate review of targets, adapt to changes in packaging and recycling trends and bring recycling protocols up to date. If we are to maintain value and confidence in the PRN system, it is vital that supply and demand are bought back into line.”
Additionally, PRN results for quarter one of this year, published at the same time, show PRN/PERNs (Packaging Export Recovery Notes) issued for recovery and recycling this year compared to the same period last year dropped from 667,736 tonnes in 2009 to 641,189 tonnes in 2010. Results illustrate a fall in PRN/PERNs issued across all materials barring steel and plastic. Glass has suffered in particular, with only 170,706 PRNs issued in quarter one 2010 compared to 224,448 glass PRNs issued in quarter one 2009 - a fall of 53,742 PRNs.
British Glass chief executive David Dalton said: “The reason for the fall is probably due to the actual availability if quality cullet for remelt. Other materials are taking priority in terms of sorting and collecting because glass is about the lowest price among the materials a materials recycling facility would receive. Therefore it is not a priority material in terms of economics.”