UK: Defra to consult on glass recycling “early in the new year“

Defra, the UK“s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is to consult on setting differentiated targets for glass according to recycling paths the first months of 2010, despite concerns f…

Defra, the UK“s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is to consult on setting differentiated targets for glass according to recycling paths the first months of 2010, despite concerns from the Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) the practice should be extended to all materials. The government said that it would propose targets for glass packaging dependent on whether the cullet is recycled back into new products – a closed-loop system – or used in “open“ processes such as aggregates. Explaining its focus on glass, Defra said: “It is the only material where the difference in carbon savings between open- and closed-loop recycling was both pronounced and not incentivized by other market mechanisms.” According to David Workman, director general of British Glass, manufacturers will support measures to “divert cullet away from aggregates and landfill, and back into closed-loop recycling”. He also added, however, that the interesting part of the debate regarded the way material was collected, and that a lot of local authorities had entered long-term contracts with waste management companies. “If we are determined to reduce energy consumption in the glass industry and make a positive contribution, we“ve got to get the material out of the waste stream,” he said.