The Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA) is calling for higher packaging recycling targets for waste wood after the latest PRN data showed how easily the targets were met in 2022 compared to other materials.
The data, published last week (March 31st) by the Environment Agency, showed that the amount of wood packaging accepted for reprocessing in the calendar year 2022 was almost double (634,687 tonnes) that required to meet the target for the year (384,534 tonnes). This was in stark contrast to all other materials which relied on carry over from 2021 to meet their targets for the year.
The material-specific packaging recycling target for waste wood in 2022 and 2023 is 35%, which is the lowest for any material. This is far below those for other materials such as plastic, paper and steel which have targets of 61%, 83% and 87% respectively.
Julia Turner, Executive Director of the WRA, said: “These figures perfectly illustrate why the packaging recycling targets for wood need to be raised. Wood stands out for being the only material which is not only comfortably meeting its targets but is far exceeding them.
“For years targets for wood have been set too low, meaning that our sector has not received sufficient support. This support is vital for panel board manufacturers and other wood reprocessors. We need targets that are meaningful to ensure the UK’s wood packaging recycling rates remain high.
“We also believe the general recycling target for packaging should not be removed as it provides an incentive to exceed the material-specific targets, such as is the case for wood, and provides flexibility within the PRN system.”