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UK exceeded plastics target

WRAP’s Plastic Flow report has revealed that less packaging was placed on the market in 2013 than previously thought, meaning the UK beat its recycling target by 4.6%.

The Plastic Packaging Market Study (Plastic Flow) 2014, produced by WRAP and Valpak, reviewed estimates of the amount of plastic packaging placed on the market.

The project, along with a Metal Flow report, was announced in February in an attempt to identify possible risks to compliance with EU-wide targets.

It now transpires that the target of 27.4% for plastic packaging recycling has been exceeded because the amount of packaging on the market was found to be 332,000 tonnes lower than previous estimates.

The report said: “Assuming no growth in flow to 2020, and that plastic packaging recycling expands at the same rate as it has done historically, the recycling rates for plastic packaging would be 38% in 2017 and 43% in 2020.”

Around 54% of consumer bottles were recycled along with 24% of consumer pots, trays and tubs. Just 4% of consumer plastic films were recycled.

In 2013:

  • 2,260,000 tonnes of plastic packaging was placed on the market
  • 1,497,000 tonnes of rigid plastic
  • 763,000 tonnes of film
  • 981,000 tonnes of plastic was placed in the grocery retail sector

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