New research will help improve plastic and metal market transparency

25th February 2014

WRAP and Valpak are set to work together on two new projects that will review existing estimates of market flows and recycling levels for plastic and metal packaging in the UK:

• The ‘MetalFlow 2014’ project, will review estimates of metal packaging (steel and aluminium) placed on the market in the UK, with separate assessments of the amount of recycling and reprocessing: and,

• The ‘Plastic Market Flow 2014’ project, will review estimates of the amount of plastic packaging placed on the market.

This work is being undertaken to: improve market transparency and information on plastic and metal packaging recovery and recycling in the UK; while also, identifying and evaluating possible risks to UK compliance this year, and in subsequent years.

Commissioned by Defra, the projects will be led jointly by WRAP and Valpak. They will work collectively with industry, drawing on the knowledge and data from trade bodies and other stakeholders including the Advisory Committee on Packaging (APC) and The Environment Agency.

Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP said: “Data is key to achieving clarity. We need the support and input from the industry, and ask them to share their data so that these projects can provide an unbiased and authoritative analysis of the metal and plastic packaging markets.

“Once complete, these projects will provide a sound basis for decisions that could enable increased recovery and recycling of packaging in the UK.”

Dan Rogerson, Environment Minister at Defra, said: “I fully support WRAP’s proposed programme of work to review data underpinning our packaging recycling targets. I want us to have the most robust and comprehensive data available on which to make decisions.”

Steve Gough, Valpak CEO, went on to underline the importance of this work to the whole sector, Government and others: “We felt that this work was of sufficient importance to commit time and resource to the project. We also believe that it must engage the support of key stakeholders, to whom this information is essential, in terms of planning for cost effective UK compliance, identifying any barriers to more effective collection and recycling and ensuring that the UK is best placed to comply with EU targets and to do so at lowest cost to industry.”

Bob Lisney, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP), said: “The ACP is keen to understand why the amount of packaging placed on the market differs wildly to that of obligated packaging. We fully support the investigation of UK packaging market flows and the development of forward looking scenarios to give us an improved understanding of these markets, which hopefully will be welcomed by those directly involved in the industry.”

The ‘Metalflow 2014’ project commenced in early 2014; key stakeholders have been recruited to a project steering group which held its first meeting in February.

The ‘Plastic Market Flow 2014’ project will commence in March 2014. The scope of the project is currently being finalised and the project steering group that will comprise of key stakeholders is now being recruiting. Should you wish to provide information to the project please contact the Project Director Hugh McCoach

Notes to Editors:

Background to the work:

Following representations to Defra (and WRAP) from both the metal packaging and plastic packaging industries a review of market flows for these materials is required to ensure that Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland, Defra, and other Government departments, have the highest confidence in the baseline information, against which achievement versus the EU targets are assessed. And that it is based on comprehensive, robust, and up to date evidence.

The current baseline estimates and projections for metal and plastic packaging market flows need to be reviewed because they are based on assumed growth rates from historic baselines.  It is envisaged that they will be evaluated alongside potential alternative estimation strategies. 

A review of glass packaging has already been completed via the GlassFlow project ( and where appropriate, similar methodologies will be established for metal and plastic packaging materials.

1. About WRAP
WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) is a not-for-profit private company backed by Government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the European Union.

WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably.  We work with businesses, individuals and communities to help them reap the benefits of reducing waste, developing sustainable products and using resources in an efficient way.

Find out more at, follow on Twitter @WRAP_UK

2. About Valpak Limited
Valpak has been operating since 1997 when the first piece of producer responsibility legislation, the Packaging Waste Regulations, was introduced in the UK. This legislation allows businesses to outsource legal compliance to a third party. Valpak was set up by Founder Members to provide this service and the business now has a 50% share of the packaging compliance market. Valpak has expanded its service offerings to include compliance for producers under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations and the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations and operates more widely in the fields of sustainable development, recycling and waste management, carbon services and energy and data management. Valpak is also offering compliance services for organisations obligated under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment).

Valpak provide a unique level of expertise in a demanding and highly specialised field.  We aim to continually develop new and better solutions for our members’ needs, helping them to run their businesses in line with legislation, increase efficiency and benefit both business and the environment.


3. About the ACP
The Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) provides expert advice to support the delivery of the UK’s packaging waste recycling and recovery targets set out in the Packaging Directive 94/42/EC, and on the matters in relation to packaging and packaging waste.



Clare Usher

PR Officer
01295 819678