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New Zealand: glass recycling reaches 66%

New Zealand“s Glass Packaging Forum has released the latest information about the country“s glass packaging production, consumption and recovery, which demonstrates that New Zealanders recycled 166,…

New Zealand“s Glass Packaging Forum has released the latest information about the country“s glass packaging production, consumption and recovery, which demonstrates that New Zealanders recycled 166,575 tonnes of glass packaging in 2009, and that two out of every three glass containers is now being recycled. New Zealand“s glass recycling – at 66% – is ahead of both European average at 65% and Australia at 62%, with a 32% increase since the Forum was established under the Packaging Accord in 2005. Glass is the only packaging material to have Government recognition of its programme which, in May, received accreditation from the Minister for the Environment under the Waste Minimisation Act (2008). Recovery of glass containers has increased, and consumption is continuing to rise because brands and consumers are choosing glass containers which are 100% recyclable. According to John Webber, general manager of the Forum, the results reflect the collective efforts of local authorities, waste management companies, community network recyclers and industry. “In 2005, 50% glass was recycled; almost all of it into making new glass containers. Today the Forum has provided the catalyst which means more than half of the total recovered glass is used as aggregate for building and roads; filtration systems and agricultural materials with a significant volume exported.” “The numbers we report today reflect the amount of glass which has been recycled. This is important because whilst more glass is recovered through commingled collections in Auckland, Christchurch and other locations the process renders the quality of around 70% of the glass recovered unfit for remanufacture into new glass containers. This means we now need to support the return of glass containers to the glass manufacturing plant in Auckland particularly with O-I“s new furnace becoming operational increasing New Zealand“s glass manufacture.” “Around 70% of glass is consumed at home with the remaining 30% away from home at bars, restaurants or in public places. As households become much better at recycling glass, we are now focusing our efforts on public places and are keen to build on the opportunities which will arise through New Zealand“s hosting of the Rugby World Cup in 2011.”

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