Wood Flow 2025 – Wood Packaging Flow Data Report

29th August 2019

The estimated quantity of wood packaging placed on the market & recycled from 2017 to 2025 and the probability of compliance with national & European recycling targets.

Key points
The most robust estimate that could be derived suggests that the quantity of wood packaging POM in 2017 was 1,291k tonnes (margin of error +/- 12%).
Assuming that the POM figure of 1,291k tonnes applies then based on this report’s projections of wood packaging POM and wood packaging recycling it is regarded as moderately possible that the UK meets the wood packaging recycling targets in 2018 to 2020.

Background

This project was commissioned by WRAP and carried out by Valpak Consulting, Verde Research & Consulting and WRAP, to provide support for wood packaging material flow estimates in Defra’s packaging policy work. The objective was to review the quantity of wood packaging being placed on the market (POM) and recycled in 2017. The project also reviewed the implications of various scenarios for future recycling rates out to 2025. The method to achieve this was primary and secondary research with engagement of a stakeholder steering group.

Project Key Conclusions: Flow

  • The most robust estimate that could be derived suggests that the quantity of wood packaging POM in 2017 was 1,291k tonnes (margin of error +/- 12%).
  • This estimate is 19k tonnes lower than the 2014 industry estimate of 1,310k tonnes.
  • Wood packaging POM is projected to decline slightly from 1,291k tonnes in 2018 to 1,259k tonnes in 2020 and to 1,227k tonnes in 2025.

Project Key Conclusions: Recycling

  • The total quantity of UK wood packaging recycled in 2017 is estimated to be 546k tonnes, including 411k tonnes reported and 135k tonnes estimated as unreported recycling. 
  • Based on the POM calculated as part of this project, this gives an overall recycling rate of 42% (reported and unreported recycling) or 32% (reported recycling).

Data Sources

The vast majority of wood packaging is non-consumer and there are only very small quantities of wood packaging waste collected by local authorities. The amount of wood packaging POM was calculated using the following methods and data sources: -Industry data: A variety of data sources for wood packaging products placed on the market combined with data and estimates provided by industry. -Cross check: Wood packaging POM tonnages reported in NPWD by producers with an obligation who are registered, and data provided by the project’s industry Steering Group.

Data Uncertainties and Appropriate Confidence in Estimates 

The data presented in the Wood Flow report intends to represent the best estimate possible, given the available data. However, owing to uncertainties inherent in many of the data sources and assumptions used, it is important to caveat the robustness of the estimates. Appendix I includes an assessment of the uncertainty and robustness of the estimates.

Meeting the EU Wood Recycling Target

  • Assuming that the POM figure of 1,291k tonnes applies then based on this report’s projections of wood packaging POM and wood packaging recycling it is regarded as moderately possible that the UK meets the wood packaging recycling targets in 2018 to 2020.
  • The associated probabilities of meeting the national equivalents of the business targets for wood packaging recycling in 2018, 2019 and 2020 are 53.5%, 48.7% and 44.0%. -Based on the POM and recycling scenarios, this report estimates that it is moderately possible that the UK meets an assumed CEP target of 46% in 2025.