In an email to stakeholders Defra’s Producer Responsibility Team Leader, Sarah Steeds, has announced that the anticipated consultation into amending the targets for Glass packaging recycling will go ahead ‘over the Christmas period’. Currently, the business recycling target for UK Glass packaging waste is 81% of the overall tonnage placed on the UK market but evidence from the GlassFlow report (published October 2013) indicated that the target could be an unfair representation of the UK’s glass recycling capabilities as the target was set based on inaccurately reported data.
The Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) has called for the obligation to be lowered to 77% based on the findings of the GlassFlow report which found that the amount of glass on the UK market had been overestimated by around 350,000 tonnes per year. There are varying views regarding the benefits of such a target review and if the target is reduced then many reprocessors will question whether this will be of benefit to the sector.
Many producers however will see it as much needed to try and bring the cost of Glass PRNs down from the current high levels being experienced. Currently, 63% of recycled glass must be processed through remelt applications, with the remaining 37% sent to aggregate and this split is also to be considered by Defra.
The letter to stakeholders sent by Sarah Steeds (dated 6 December) reads as follows: "I am writing to provide a brief update to Defra’s announcement regarding our intention to consult on whether to amend the glass packaging business target following the publication of the GlassFlow report in October. We intend to consult on this issue very shortly, but due to the time constraints associated with ensuring any amendment is communicated in Budget 2014, we are going to have to run a shortened consultation period over the Christmas period. We apologise for any inconvenience that this might cause you.”
For more information, please get in touch with the packaging team.