Recycling services provider Valpak has partnered with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to study recycling levels and material flows for metal and plastic packaging in the UK.

The MetalFlow 2014 project commenced in early 2014. It aims to study the flow of metal packaging, including steel and aluminium, into the UK market, and also focus on recycling and reprocessing.

Plastic Market Flow 2014 will commence in March. Valpak and WRAP will review estimates of the flow of plastic packaging into the market.

The projects aim to improve market transparency and information on recovery and recycling of plastic and metal packaging in the country. They have been commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and also call for identifying and evaluating potential future risks to UK compliance.

Valpak and WRAP will work on the projects with stakeholders such as the Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP), the Environment Agency, and others.

WRAP director Marcus Gover said that the projects can provide a key analysis of the metal and plastic packaging markets given support and input from the industry.

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

ACP chairman Bob Lisney said: "The ACP is keen to understand why the amount of packaging placed on the market differs wildly to that of obligated packaging."

Image: The MetalFlow 2014 project will study the flow of metal packaging into the UK market. Photo: courtesy of Somchai Som.