Defra is investigating existing data on the flow of metal and plastics packaging in the UK.
WRAP and Valpak, which already carried out similar research on the glass market, will produce reports for the department.
The ‘MetalFlow 2014’ project will look at steel and aluminium packaging placed on the market and separately assess the amount of recycling and reprocessing.
WRAP confirmed an initial meeting with stakeholders took place during February, as MRW revealed in January.
The ‘Plastic Market Flow 2014’ project will review estimates of the amount of plastic packaging placed on the market. The scope of the project is being finalised and WRAP is in the process of recruiting stakeholders for the steering group.
The aim is to improve market transparency and information on plastic and metal packaging in the UK and to identify a possible risks to compliance with EU-wide targets.
Recycling targets are set under producer responsibility regulations on the basis of the estimated amount of packaging put onto the market. From that the UK’s recycling performance is calculated and presented to the EU.
Waste minister Dan Rogerson said: “I fully support WRAP’s proposed programme of work to review data underpinning our packaging recycling targets. I want us to have the most robust and comprehensive data available on which to make decisions.”
The Advisory Committee on Packaging and the Environment Agency will also take part in the projects.
The announcement followed growing concerns that estimates on the amount of packaging put onto market might not be accurate.
MRW understands that privately-commissioned research on steel packaging was carried out in early 2013.
In October, a report on the amount of glass in the UK market, also produced by WRAP and Valpak, prompted Defra to consult on amending the business glass recycling target. A decision is expected to be announced by April.