Sileby, Leicestershire, UK — Waste managing firm 360 Environmental Limited has published Q4 packaging data. The data holds no surprises and there was sufficient recycling in all materials to meet the necessary targets. Overall, 2013 saw the first increase in recycling levels since 2008 which was achieved through strong performances in paper, plastic and steel. The only material to see a fall compared to 2012 levels is wood.
The most interesting statistics relate to glass. Q4 saw a jump to a level that has allowed 15k tonnes of PRNs to be carried into 2014. All the carry over is in melt and the figures show the high level of melt recycling that came from exports. A cynic might wonder how the quarterly tonnage could have increased so markedly quarter on quarter when presumably, the amount collected in each quarter stays relatively even. Some might claim that this was driven by the price of PRNs, but others might suggest that this has allowed to price of PRNs to be kept at an artificially high level. The new target for glass won’t be known until the March 19 budget, but on this performance, it will be a surprise if it goes below 77 per cent although that should still see a significant shift in PRN prices.
Strong performance in plastic and steel
Plastic had another strong quarter and saw out the year with over 48k being carried forward, confounding the start of the year pessimists who didn’t feel this year’s target was achievable. Based on the final outurn of 714k, then with the carry over added, the 2014 target becomes entirely achievable and at this stage, PRN prices shouldn’t really go up.
Steel also saw a strong performance with a good carry forward of 22.5k tonnes. With the 2014 target less than 2013, it suggests that steel PRN prices will remain low for the year.
Bad year for aluminium and wood
Aluminium had a very poor Q4, down nearly 30 per cent on Q3. This still created a significant excess in 2013, but it will be interesting to find out why this happened as this is the lowest quarter aluminium has seen since early 2010.
Wood has had another bad year with a total of 435k tonnes, 90k less that 2012 and less that half the peak of 2008 which saw 940k tonnes being recycled. This is likely to be down to the recent closure of one of the major chipboard plants and growing competition from biomass.
So 360 Environmental Limited starts 2014 with a positive outlook on all materials – in relation to recycling targets – other than glass. The target change should certainly help bring glass PRN prices down from the artificially high levels of the last couple of years, but there must surely be questions asked as to where the estimated £150m in glass PRN revenue has gone over the last couple of years given the completely flat level of recycling.
Source: 360 Environmental Limited