Environmental compliance specialist Valpak welcomes plastic waste recycling news

James Armitage

Environmental compliance provider Valpak has welcomed the news that 2022 is on track for highest-ever volume of UK plastic packaging waste recycling.

According to the National Packaging Waste Database, the UK achieved the highest volume of plastic packaging recycling on record in the second quarter of 2022.

This follows last year’s news that, for the first time, the UK market was outstripping exports.

James Armitage, Commercial Operations Analyst at Stratford-upon-Avon-based Valpak, said: “These latest figures show that things are moving in the right direction.

“Higher volumes of material managed in the UK result in a more robust data trail and confidence that material is being processed responsibly.

“At the same time, PRN (Packaging Recovery Note) funding provides substantial investment in UK infrastructure.

“However, there is still room for improvement across the industry. Valpak has always favoured UK reprocessing – in 2021, 70 per cent of our plastics PRNs were sourced from UK businesses, compared with a UK figure of 53 per cent.

“Since 2017, we have invested over £200 million into UK recycling infrastructure through our PRN purchasing, and over £120 million for plastic specifically.

“As the market adapts to greater demand for UK-sourced material, we look forward to seeing others follow our lead.”

Although UK plastic packaging recycling has risen steadily since 2016, 2021 saw a significant jump.

This week’s figures suggest that 2022 is on track to be the highest volume UK plastic reprocessing year ever, potentially hitting over 600,000 tonnes of plastic reprocessed in the UK if current volumes are maintained.

The total for 2021 was 593,000 tonnes. This would be a significant achievement in a relatively short space of time, representing a 33 per cent increase in UK volume compared to 2019.