Investigation launched on UK glass packaging supply chain

29 April 2013 (Last Updated April 29th, 2013 18:30)

A new investigation has been launched into the UK glass packaging supply chain into the potential impacts of introducing split recycling targets for the material stream.

Empty glass jars

A new investigation has been launched into the UK glass packaging supply chain to obtain an insight into the potential impacts of introducing split recycling targets for the material stream.

Valpak, Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and other key stakeholders including the Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP), Defra, the Environment Agency and British Glass are working on the project.

The project's goal is to attain a better understanding of the volatility experienced in the market in 2012.

Key aims also include the potential impacts of the introduction of split targets for material, which mean that a minimum of 63% of glass packaging recycling must come from remelt to achieve compliance in 2013.

Although compliance for glass was achieved in 2012, the surplus carry-over of packaging recovery notes (PRN) / packaging export recovery notes (PERN) evidence into 2013 was reduced to 16,700t from 57,000t carried over into 2012 (from 2011).

A related issue for glass remelt to be considered is the glass quality collected for recycling, which affects the economics of using glass cullet in place of virgin materials.

Due to be complete during mid-July 2013, the project aims to improve market transparency and information on glass packaging recovery and recycling, and identify and evaluate possible risks to UK compliance for glass in 2013.

Scenarios will also be developed to determine and quantify potential market supply / demand for increased glass recycling, including collection, sorting, processing and reprocessing.

ACP chairman Bob Lisney said it is working with a group of stakeholders to investigate the flows of material in the UK and develop some forecasts of the targets for the next few years.

"This will give us a good understanding of the glass PRN market which hopefully will be welcomed by those directly involved in the industry," Lisney said.

The project is expected to provide impartial and authoritative analysis of the glass market to improve market transparency and information on glass recovery and recycling in the country.


Image: The project focuses on improving market transparency and information on glass packaging recovery and recycling; Photo: Courtesy of nuchylee