WRAP publishes paper & wood packaging recycling forecasts for 2014-2020
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has published estimates for the amount of paper and wood packaging likely to be recycled by 2020.
The figures - collected in two different reports (Paper & Card Flow 2020 and Wood Flow 2020) - offer an overview of the quantity of material being placed on the market (POM) and recycled in 2014. The project also projected future POM figures and recycling rates to 2020.
The Paper & Card Flow 2020 report estimated paper and card packaging POM in 2014 at 4,749k tonnes, an increase of 862k tonnes from the estimated current figure.
Key findings include:
- Using the new POM figure of 4,749k tonnes, the UK achieved a 73% recycling rate in 2014 with 3,470k tonnes of paper and card packaging being recycled by accredited reprocessors or exported.
- There was an estimated 367k tonnes of unaccredited paper and card packaging reprocessing in 2014 (10% of total recycling).
- Auto regression projects the recycling rate could rise to 82% by 2020 (if there had been no protocol EN023 update), but applying the revised EA Protocol EN023, updated prior to publication of this report and applicable from 2016, suggests the WRAP – Paper and Card Flow 2020 4 recycling rate could rise to 85% 1 , although stakeholders predict some tapering off by 2020.
- All scenarios (tapered and auto regression), with and without the amendment to EA protocol being applied, are projected to exceed the Directive 94/62/EC2 target (60%) currently in place up to 2020 for paper and card packaging.
- EA Protocol EN023 for mixed paper and card requires updating.
Regarding wooden materials, the Wood Flow 2020 report estimated wood packaging POM in 2014 at 1,310k tonnes, an increase of 276k tonnes from the estimated current figure.
Key findings include:
- Using the new POM estimate of 1,310k tonnes, the UK achieved a 31% recycling rate in 2014, with 412k tonnes of wood packaging recycled by accredited reprocessors/ exporters;
- In 2008, there were 940k tonnes of accredited recycling; however, by 2014 this had dropped to 412k tonnes. The project team believes this decrease in accredited recycling is largely due to waste wood packaging being used in end markets which have not raised PRNs such as in biomass. And to a lesser extent due to the PRN value being low in the recent past, meaning some recyclers may not have registered to issue PRNs;
- There was an estimated 372k tonnes of unaccredited wood packaging recycling in 2014 (47% of total recycling);
- Recycling projections predict a decrease in accredited recycling (down from 412k tonnes in 2014 to 324k tonnes in 2020), but a slow-down in the rate of decrease Wood Flow 2020 compared to the previous six years. Based on the projected POM estimate for 2020, the UK would achieve a 24% recycling rate in 2020
- Wood packaging recycling is projected to continue to comply with the Directive target (15%) currently in place to 2020. However, future revisions of this target could put UK compliance at risk.