A new study to analyse wood packaging flows has been announced by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) today (October 21).
WRAP has commissioned Valpak to conduct new research on the material, following its previous work on glass, metals and plastic flows.
The wood flow project will provide the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) with “robust and independent” updated estimates of the amount of wood packaging placed on the market (POM), and the amount of wood packaging recycled, recovered or sent to landfill for the period 2014.
These estimates will be used to determine Defra’s policy development and are used to fulfil EU requirements for reporting recycling performance for the UK. The project will also develop scenarios for projecting POM and recycling figures up to 2020.
It follows comments made by Phil Conran, chair of the Advisory Committee on Packaging at the annual LARAC conference in Nottingham last week on the current state of wood packaging recycling.
He highlighted the volatility in the PRN markets over the years and remarked how wood recycling has fallen because more was going to biomass, which does not count as recycling unlike other outlets for waste wood such as panel board (see letsrecycle.com story).
Wood PRNs also came under fire in responses to Defra’s consultation on plastics packaging targets last week. One respondent to the survey suggested raising the wood packaging recycling target from the current static baseline of 22% (see letsrecycle.com story).
In order to achieve the objectives of the work announced today, Valpak has established a steering group made of industry, Defra and Environment Agency members to oversee and provide insight into the outputs.
The project is expected to report back in spring 2016.