Scrutiny applied to glass packaging ahead of recycling target proposals

An investigation has been launched into the UK glass packaging supply chain to gain a deeper insight into the potential impacts of introducing split recycling targets for this material stream.

Valpak, supported by WRAP, alongside other key stakeholders including Defra and the Environment Agency will feed into the project.

If split targets come into force, in order to achieve compliance for 2013 a minimum of 63% of glass packaging recycling must come from remelt.

Although compliance for glass was achieved in 2012, the surplus carry-over of PRN/PERN evidence into 2013 was reduced to 16,700 tonnes compared to the 57,000 tonnes carried over into 2012, which potentially makes reaching compliance this year more difficult.

A related issue for glass to remelt to be considered in this analysis is the quality of the glass collected for recycling. This affects the economics of using glass cullet in place of virgin materials from the viewpoint of glass container manufacturers.

The current status of the glass market will be quantified in terms of the tonnages flowing on to the market with estimates split by colour and by format, building an overall picture for the UK, and separately for Scotland and for Wales.

The project will also look back at events in the glass market to gain a better understanding of the likely evolution of glass packaging PRN/PERNs in terms of tonnages and prices.

Commenting on the initiative, WRAP’s director of closed loop economy Marcus Gover said: “This project will provide unbiased and authoritative analysis of the glass market to improve market transparency and information.

“It will inform debate within the industry and generate consensus about specific actions that the industry, together with WRAP and others, could potentially deliver to enable more glass packaging recovery and recycling in the UK.”

Maxine Perella

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie