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Glass Recycling Companies Waiting For Defra’s Amended Targets

Glass recycling companies across the UK are still awaiting the outcome of Defra’s consultation on whether to amend glass recycling targets.


What Are The Current Glass Recycling Targets?


At present, the EU Directive states that there is approximately 2.75 million tonnes of glass on the UK market, of which businesses are obliged to recycle 81%. After report findings, the revised figure for glass on the UK market stands at 2.4 million tonnes. Of this, the ACP recommends that businesses recycle 77%.


What Do The New Glass Recycling Targets Mean?


A number of glass recycling companies have spoken out about the affect Defra’s indecision has had on the industry. The market for glass packaging recovery notes (PRNs) has ‘slowed to a standstill’ and trading has been affected as companies wait for Defra’s decision over whether to change the glass recycling target. Possible amendments are expected to be revealed by the Chancellor in the budget on March 19th.

A report published by the ACP (Advisory Committee on Packaging) suggested that the glass on the market was overstated by approximately 350,000 tonnes.  As a result, many compliance schemes and recycling companies have welcomed the proposal to reduce the glass targets, ensuring that they more accurately reflect the marketplace. There has however been some resistance from glass reprocessors who feel a large drop in the target would result in lower PRN prices, reducing investment in the industry and driving down glass quality.

Provisional data, for the final quarter of 2013,  published on the National Packaging Waste Database saw glass collections spike with more than 300,000 tonnes sent to re-melt at glass recycling companies and 173,000 tonnes going to aggregate. Whilst this does show significantly higher tonnages are being traded, recycling of glass to aggregate was not high enough to meet its own obligatory target.


How Are The New Targets Being Received?


Chairman of the ACP, Bob Lisney, said that the GlassFlow report, which prompted Defra’ consultation, had been “well received” by the glass industry as well as Defra. Commenting in October 2013 when the initial consultation was launched, he said “I am pleased with the reception in the industry. We were set up to make policy proposals and recommendations and the suggestions so far are that they have been well received by Defra.”
Three months down the line, after no new target has been confirmed, one glass recycling company said “Glass remains very frustrating. Why are compliance schemes on behalf of producers buying when it has no impact on increasing supply? For consecutive months between quarters one and three it was underreported, and then over reported in the last quarter.
“It’s all about supply rather than demand. Of the 20 or 30 accredited reprocessing companies there are just three or four that have the majority control over glass.”


Why Choose Recycling Services For Your Glass Recycling?


If you are looking for a reliable glass recycling company, talk to the experts at Recycling Services. We can advise on the best solution to meet your requirements, ensuring you meet the obligatory EU recycling targets.

For more information or to arrange glass collections call 01952 204471 or email

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